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GAMMAGE v. FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO

January 5, 2005.

SHANDA GAMMAGE, Plaintiff,
v.
FEDERAL RESERVE BANK OF CHICAGO, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: AMY J. ST. EVE, District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Shanda Gammage filed a three-count Complaint against her former employer Defendant Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago ("Reserve Bank") alleging employment discrimination and retaliation in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Before the Court is the Reserve Bank's Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(c). For the following reasons, the Court grants the Reserve Bank's motion.

I. NORTHERN DISTRICT OF ILLINOIS LOCAL RULE 56.1

  Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(e) requires that a party responding to a summary judgment motion must "set forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." The Court affords no weight to conclusory statements at the summary judgment stage. Lujan v. National Wildlife Fed'n, 497 U.S. 871, 888, 110 S.Ct. 3177, 3189, 111 L.Ed.2d 695 (1990). Instead, "the non-movant must allege specific facts creating a genuine issue for trial and may not rely on vague, conclusory allegations." Gabrielle M. v. Park-Forest-Chicago Heights, Ill. Sch. Dist. 163, 315 F.3d 817, 822 (7th Cir. 2003) (emphasis in original).

  The Local Rules provide parties with specific details as to how litigants in the Northern District of Illinois should approach summary judgment motions and responses. Local Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide "a statement of material facts as to which the moving party contends there is no genuine issue." Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires the non-moving party to admit or deny every factual statement proffered by the moving party and to concisely designate any material facts that establish a genuine dispute for trial. See Greer v. Board of Ed. of City of Chicago, 267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001). Specifically, the party opposing a motion for summary judgment must file "a concise response to the movant's statement" that includes:
(A) a response to each numbered paragraph in the moving party's statement, including, in the case of any disagreement, specific references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting material relied upon, and
(B) a statement, consisting of short numbered paragraphs, of any additional facts that require the denial of summary judgment, including references to the affidavits, parts of the record, and other supporting material relied upon.
See Local Rule 56.1(b)(3). If the non-movant fails to properly contest the moving party's facts, the Court deems the movant's facts as admitted. See Rule 56.1(b)(3); Smith v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003).

  Although Gammage has styled her Memorandum to the Court as "Plaintiff's Rule 56.1(b)(1) Materials in Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment and Rule 56.1(a)(3) Statement of Undisputed Material Facts in Support of its Motion for Summary Judgment," Gammage has not followed Local Rule 56.1. She has not admitted or denied the Reserve Bank's factual statements as required. Furthermore, Gammage has not designated any material facts that include references to affidavits, parts of the record, or other supporting material. Because Gammage failed to properly contest the Reserve Bank's facts pursuant to the Local Rules, the Reserve Bank's facts are admitted for purposes of this summary judgment motion. See Smith, 321 F.3d at 683.

  II. UNDISPUTED FACTS

  A. The Federal Reserve Bank

  The Federal Reserve Bank, which is the United States' central bank, consists of Defendant Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago and eleven other Reserve Banks. (R. 21-1, Def.'s Rule 56.1 Statement of Undisputed Material Facts, ¶ 1.) The Reserve Banks are responsible for formulating the United States' monetary policy, supervising and regulating banks and bank holding companies, and providing financial services to banks and the United States government. (Id.) At all relevant times, the Chicago Office of the Reserve Bank employed between approximately 1,450 to 1,800 individuals. (Id. at ¶ 3.)

  B. Plaintiff's Work History

  The Reserve Bank hired Gammage, who is African American, as a grade 3 mail carrier on July 15, 1968. (Id. at ¶ 4.) In 1971, the Reserve Bank promoted Gammage to a grade 5 outside messenger, and in June 1974 the Bank promoted to her a grade 6 release clerk in the safekeeping securities area. (Id. at ¶¶ 5, 6.) In October 1978, the Reserve Bank promoted Gammage to a grade 7 junior securities teller, and in March 1981 the Bank promoted her to grade 8 securities teller. (Id. at ¶¶ 7, 8.) Because the Reserve Bank's grading system changed in 1982, Gammage became a securities teller B, grade 39 or 40. (Id. at ¶ 9.) In May 1984, Gammage transferred to a grade 40 control clerk position in the treasury, tax, and loan department. (Id. at ¶ 10.) In 1994, Gammage transferred to the safekeeping custody department to fill a vacancy. (Id. at ¶ 11.) The Reserve Bank's grading system once again changed in January 1995, at which time Gammage became a grade 7 control clerk. (Id. at ¶ 12.)

  In August or September 1995, Gammage transferred between two departments to fill in for absent employees when needed. (Id. at ¶ 13.) In September 1995, Gammage applied for and received the position of grade 6 senior clerk III in the economic research department. (Id. at ¶ 14.) Although Gammage knew that the senior clerk III job was a lower grade than her previous assignment, she applied for the position because she did not like being transferred between two departments. (Id. at ¶ 15.) Also, the Federal Reserve was phasing out the jobs in her former department and transferring them to the Reserve Bank in St. Louis, Missouri. (Id.) Gammage remained in her non-exempt grade 6 senior clerk III position until September 2002. (Id. at ¶ 19.)

  C. Performance Evaluations

  As a senior clerk III, one of Gammage's responsibilities was to record and maintain accurate attendance records of the economic research department's employees. (Id. at ¶ 43.) In January of 2000, Gammage's direct supervisor, Nancy Wellman (Caucasian) gave Gammage a performance evaluation for the year 1999 with a rating of "needs improvement" for her responsibility of "timekeeping — communication, customer — stakeholder focus." (Id. at ¶ 47.) Gammage's overall performance rating was "needs improvement." (Id.) In January 2001, Wellman gave Gammage her annual performance evaluation for the year 2000 with a rating of "needs improvement" for the timekeeping category. (Id. at ¶ 51.) Again, Gammage's overall performance rating was "needs improvement." (Id.) In February of 2002, Wellman gave ...


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