The opinion of the court was delivered by: NAN NOLAN, Magistrate Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Freeman Banks, an African-American man who is
proceeding pro se, sued his current employer, Archer Wire
International, Inc. ("Archer Wire"), for race discrimination,
retaliation, and racial harassment under Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The parties consented to
the jurisdiction of the United States Magistrate Judge pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 636(c). Archer Wire moves for summary judgment.
For the reasons that follow, the Court grants Archer Wire's
summary judgment motion.
A. Northern District of Illinois Local Rule 56.1
Archer Wire objects to Banks' Response to Defendant's Statement
of Undisputed Material Facts in its entirety on the grounds that
it fails to comply with Local Rule 56.1. Local Rule 56.1 governs
motions for summary judgment in this district. Banks is required
to comply with Local Rule 56.1 despite his pro se status.
Greer v. Bd. of Educ. of the City of Chicago, Illinois,
267 F.3d 723, 727 (7th Cir. 2001). Moreover, this Court is not
required to search the record for a dispute of fact on behalf of
a pro se party. Id. (stating "[e]mployment discrimination
cases are extremely fact-intensive, and neither appellate courts
nor district courts are `obligated in our adversary system to
scour the record looking for factual disputes.'"). 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)(A) requires the
non-moving party to respond 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 materials relied upon." The
non-moving party is required "to admit or deny each factual
statement proffered by the defendant and to designate with
specificity and particularity those material facts believed to
establish a genuine dispute for trial." Greer, 267 F.3d at 727.
"All material facts set forth in the statement required of the
moving party will be deemed to be admitted unless controverted by
the statement of the opposing party." L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B). If the
non-moving party wishes to present additional facts requiring the
denial of summary judgment, it must do so in "a statement,
consisting of short numbered paragraphs" supported by citations
to the record. L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B).
Because Banks is a pro se litigant, Archer Wire served him
with a "Notice to Pro Se Litigant Opposing Motion for Summary
Judgment" as required by Local Rule 56.2 (the "Notice"). The
Notice explained the purpose of summary judgment, Banks'
obligations to respond to Archer Wire's motion, and the
consequences of not doing so. Banks was also advised that he must
comply with Local Rule 56.1 and provide a paragraph-by-paragraph
response to Archer Wire's statement of facts. Despite receiving
the Notice, Banks failed to comply with the requirements of Local
Rule 56.1 in several critical respects. Along with its summary
judgment motion, Archer Wire submitted 195 statements of facts.
Banks failed to properly identify which facts he disputes. Banks'
Response does not specifically admit or deny each of Archer
Wire's statements of facts. Instead, Bank appears to have
repeated Archer Wire's facts verbatim where there is no
disagreement and, where Bank disagreed, redrafted the particular statement of fact to reflect
his version and/or improperly added new facts. Banks' new facts
belong in a separate statement of additional facts pursuant to
Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B). Banks also fails to cite to admissible
evidence supporting his denials and additional facts. As a
result, all of Archer Wire's facts that are supported by the
record are deemed admitted. See L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B); Smith v.
Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003) (stating "a mere
disagreement with the movant's asserted facts is inadequate if
made without reference to specific supporting material.");
McGuire v. United Parcel Service, 152 F.3d 673, 675 (7th Cir.
1998) (stating "[a]n answer that does not deny the allegations in
the numbered paragraph with citations to supporting evidence in
the record constitutes an admission."). The Court also disregards
additional facts in Banks' Response because they were not
included in a separate statement and did not include a specific
reference to affidavits, or other supporting parts of the record.
See L.R. 56.1(b)(3)(B).
Because Banks' Response is entirely non-compliant, the Court
further disregards Banks' affidavit evidence and limits its
analysis to the facts contained in Defendant's Statement of
Undisputed Material Facts. Bordelon v. Chicago School Reform
Board of Trustees, 233 F.3d 524, 529 (7th Cir. 2000)
(holding district court properly refused to consider non-moving
party's affidavits where non-moving party's response to moving
party's statement of facts was "entirely non-compliant" with
summary judgment local rule). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B) makes
clear "the consequence for noncompliance the movant's
assertions of material fact are deemed admitted and this
consequence applies regardless of what contrary evidence is in
the record." Id; see also Koszola v. Bd. of Educ. of the
City of Chicago, 385 F.3d 1104, 1107-09 (7th Cir. 2004).
Banks' failure to comply with Local Rule 56.1 does not result
in the automatic grant of summary judgment. The Court must still
determine whether Archer Wire is entitled to judgment as a matter of law, viewing the facts in the light most favorable to
Banks. Johnson v. Gudmundson, 35 F.3d 1104, 1112 (7th Cir.
1994) (stating "even where many or all of the material facts are
undisputed, the court still must ascertain that judgment is
proper `as a matter of governing law.'").
B. Relevant Undisputed Facts*fn1
Banks was employed by Chicago Wirecraft Products, Inc.
("Wirecraft"), a wire fabrication business, from the late 1990s
to July, 2002. DSUF 22. On or about July 15, 2002, Archer Wire
purchased Wirecraft. DSUF 10. Archer Wire provides a diversified
range of wire products, including barbeque grill grates, wire
baskets for making French fries, and welded wire for sporting
equipment, such as face guards for helmets. DSUF 4, 5. Archer
Wire hired Banks on or about July 15, 2002, as a machine
operator. DSUF 24. Banks is currently working for Archer Wire.
DSUF 25. Throughout his employment with Archer Wire, Banks has
worked as a machine operator mainly in the department that makes
products for a large sporting equipment company. DSUF 26.
2. Set-Up Employee versus Machine Operator
In addition to other employees involved in manufacturing
operations, Archer Wire has "set-up" employees and machine
operators. A set-up employee prepares a machine to product a
product, or a component of a product, in accordance with the
product drawings, production plan, and the customer's
specifications. DSUF 14. A machine operator assists the foreman
or set-up employee in operating the machines, supplying the
correct components or parts to the machine, and ensuring the
parts being manufactured conform to the "first-piece" approved
part. DSUF 15. The set-up position requires greater technical
ability, knowledge, and training than the machine operator position. DSUF 16. To move from a machine operator position to a
set-up position, an employee must train on how to read the
production plans, make the necessary calculations to set the
controls, and perform other safety and quality assurance
procedures. DSUF 17. Different machines involve different set up
procedures and therefore require separate and different training.
DSUF 18. In preparation for future possible need, Archer Wire
trains employees to learn the set-up procedures even though there
may not be a set-up position available. DSUF 21. Archer Wire does
not have a separate "trainee" job classification or pay
classification for employees that are training for a set-up
position. DSUF 19. Trainees do not receive additional pay unless
and until they are placed into a set-up position, if one becomes
available. DSUF 20.
3. Spiral Machine Set-Up Position
In July 2002, Archer Wire hired former Wirecraft employee
Michael Holmes, an African-American male, as a set-up employee on
the spiral and "ring roller" machines. DSUF 28. Holmes is the
only employee ever employed by Archer Wire who has set up spiral
machines for Archer Wire. DSUF 29. Since July 2002, Archer Wire
has not trained any employees to set up the spiral machines. DSUF
32. Since July 2002, Archer Wire has never had an open position
for a set-up employee on the spiral machine. DSUF 33.
In February 2003, Banks told Conrad Martinez, Archer Wire's
Production Manager, that he wanted to be the second shift set-up
employee on the spiral machine claiming that he was already
trained for the position. DSUF 8, 34. Martinez told Banks that
there was not enough demand to support a set-up position on the
spiral machine for the second shift. DSUF 35. Banks believed that
there were not enough orders to support a set-up position on the
second shift for the spiral machine. DSUF 36. No one at Archer
Wire told Banks, or even hinted, that he would not be placed in
the spiral machine set-up position because he is African-American.
Banks claims that Archer Wire trained Hong Cong Nguyen to set
up the spiral machine for two to three weeks. DSUF 47. Nguyen
operated the spiral machine during the second shift on a few
occasions, but he did not set up the machine. DSUF 50. Nguyen was
never trained to set up the spiral machine at Archer Wire and was
never placed into the set-up position on the spiral machine at
Archer Wire. DSUF 48, 49.
4. Press Welder Set-Up Position
Anastacio Arceo was the set-up employee on the press welder at
Wirecraft. DSUF 51. In July 2002, Archer Wire hired Arceo as the
second shift set-up employee on the press welder in the metal
face guard department. DSUF 52. In March 2003, Martinez offered
to train Banks on how to set up the press welder in the metal
face guard department, and Banks agreed. DSUF 53. Arceo trained
Banks on how to set up the press welder machine for at least four
months. DSUF 57, 59. Granados helped train Banks on how to set up
the press welder machine. DSUF 62. Banks was trained on how to
set up the press welder in the metal face guard department in
case a position became available. DSUF 56.
Banks believes that Alejandro Sagal took his place on the press
welder machine. DSUF 85. Segal assisted Arceo on the operation of
the press welder in the metal face guard department for less than
one month in late 2003 or early 2004. DSUF 86. Segal was never
trained on how to set up the press welder machine, nor did Segal
become a set-up employee on the press welder machine. DSUF 87. At
no time since Banks began training on the press welder at Archer
Wire has there been an open set-up position on the press welder
in the metal face guard department. DSUF 54. Archer Wire has not
placed any employee in the set-up position on the press welder in
the metal face guard department since Banks began training to set up the press welder.
5. Transfer to First Shift
In or around November 2003, Archer Wire received a large number
of orders for metal face guards. DSUF 72. Archer Wire moved
approximately seven employees, including Banks, from the second
shift to the first shift to have employees with experience in the
metal face guard department on the first shift to accommodate the
new orders. DSUF 73. Banks prefers to work the second shift. DSUF
78. Martinez told Banks that Banks was being moved to the first
shift because Archer Wire needed more people ...