The opinion of the court was delivered by: WAYNE ANDERSEN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM, OPINION AND ORDER
Before the Court is the defendant's motion for summary
judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the motion is granted.
Plaintiff, Imogene Manning, was an employee of the defendant,
University of Chicago Hospitals ("Hospital"), for over thirty
years spanning from August 1971 until her discharge on April 9,
2003. (Local Rule 56.1(a) Statement of Facts "SOF" ¶¶ 16-17.)
Beginning in 1996 until her discharge, Manning worked as an
outpatient service representative, performing registration and
patient inquiry functions for outpatient appointments. (Id. ¶
On June 15, 2001, Manning took a medical leave of absence to
undergo surgery and treatment for bladder cancer. (Id. ¶ 20.)
On December 20, 2001, while on leave, Manning notified her
supervisors in the Outpatient Services Department ("Department")
that she would be able to return to work on January 7, 2002.
(Id. ¶ 22.) When Manning presented herself for reinstatement on January 7, 2002, she had completed cancer
treatment, her cancer was in remission, and her physician had
released her for work with no medical restrictions. (Resp. to SOF
¶ 23.) She admits her only limitations were some discomfort when
sitting on bar-stool height chairs and difficulty walking long
On January 7, 2002, Manning met with human resources personnel,
who requested that she take an assessment test to assist in
identifying open and available positions throughout the Hospital
for which she was qualified. (Id. ¶ 27.) Based on advice she
received from her union representatives, Manning never took the
assessment test, believing it was not required under the union's
collective bargaining agreement. (Id. ¶¶ 27-28.)
After filing a grievance with her union, Manning was reinstated
to her position on April 7, 2002. (Id. ¶ 29.) On May 15, 2002,
she filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") alleging the Hospital's actions
in not reinstating her on January 7, 2002 constituted disability
In the months following the filing of her EEOC charge on May
15, 2002, Manning alleges she was subjected to less favorable
treatment than her coworkers and was given less favorable job
assignments. Accordingly, on October 7, 2002, she filed another
charge with the EEOC alleging retaliation. She was issued a
notice of her right to sue on May 23, 2003.
During the last several years of her tenure with the Hospital,
Manning received negative performance evaluations. From 1996
through June 2001, the period before Manning went on medical
leave, she received annual evaluations of her work performance.
(Id. ¶ 18.) Manning admits she consistently received an overall
rating of "1" or "2," which indicated she needed improvement.
(Id.) After she returned to work, her performance did not improve.
Approximately nine months after her return, in January 2003, her
department implemented a new method of auditing employees' work.
The managers began reviewing employees' daily work logs and
randomly selected approximately five accounts listed on the log.
(Id. ¶ 35.) The managers then reviewed those patient accounts
and completed a quality assurance audit report. (Id. ¶ 36.) New
employees or those having performance issues were audited using
the daily work log method. (SOF ¶ 37.)
Because Manning had performance problems and had been recently
reinstated, department managers began reviewing her daily work
log. The managers reported that for the period April 2002 through
April 2003, she made errors on approximately sixty percent of the
patient accounts she worked. (SOF ¶ 47.) Manning admits she
received a counseling memorandum detailing her poor performance
on June 17, 2002, followed by a written warning on August 26,
2002 and a three-day suspension starting October 9, 2002 for poor
work performance. (Resp. to SOF ¶ 50.) On February 3, 2003, the
Department issued a second three-day suspension for poor work
performance and advised her that if her performance did not
improve within 60 days, her employment would be terminated.
(Id. ¶ 51.) Citing her poor work performance, the Hospital
discharged Manning on April 9, 2003. (Id.)
On June 26, 2003, Manning filed a second charge of retaliation
with the EEOC (her third EEOC charge) alleging that her discharge
on April 9, 2003 was in retaliation for filing previous charges
with the EEOC. On July 8, 2003, she was issued a notice of her
right to sue in federal court.
On August 19, 2003, Manning filed a six-count complaint against
the Hospital in this Court. In Count I, she alleges a violation of the Americans with
Disabilities Act ("ADA") for failure to reasonably accommodate.
In Count III, she alleges the Hospital subjected her to less
favorable treatment than similarly situated employees in
retaliation for having filed an EEOC charge of discrimination on
May 15, 2002. In Count V, she alleges the Hospital terminated her
employment on April 9, 2003 in retaliation for having filed
previous EEOC charges. In Counts II, IV, and VI, Manning also
alleges violations of the Illinois Human Rights Act. On September
24, 2004, however, this Court granted plaintiff's own motion to
voluntarily dismiss these state law claims. The Hospital now
seeks summary judgment on the remaining Counts I, III, and V.
Under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56, summary judgment is
appropriate in a situation where "the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admission on file, together with
the affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to
any material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c); Celotex
Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322-323 (1986). The Court's
function is "not to weigh the evidence but merely to determine if
`there is a genuine issue for trial.'" Jackson v. Illinois
MediCar, Inc., 300 F.3d 760, 764 (7th Cir. 2002) (quoting
Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249 (1986)). ...