The opinion of the court was delivered by: GEORGE MAROVICH, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Plaintiff Manuel B. Milo ("Milo") filed a complaint of
employment discrimination against defendant Contour Saws, Inc.
("Contour Saws"). Milo alleged that Contour Saws discriminated
against him on the basis of his age, color, national origin and
race in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act
("ADEA"), Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and
42 U.S.C. § 1981. Milo also alleged that Contour Saws subjected him to
Defendant moves for summary judgment on all of plaintiff's
claims. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants
defendant's motion for summary judgment.
Before the Court discusses the disputed and undisputed facts,
it reiterates the importance of complying with Local Rule 56.1.
Local Rule 56.1 outlines the requirements for the introduction of
facts parties would like considered in connection with a motion
for summary judgment. As the Court notes on its website (and has
mentioned in multiple opinions), the Court enforces Local Rule
56.1 strictly. See Thomas v. CitiMortgage, Inc., Case No. 03 C
6177, 2005 WL 1712266 at *1 n. 1 (N.D. Ill. Jul. 20, 2005);
Perez v. City of Batavia, Case No. 98 C 8226, 2004 WL 2967153
at *10 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 23, 2004); see also Ammons v. Aramark
Uniform Services, Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817-818 (7th Cir. 2004). Facts
that are submitted but do not conform with the rule are not
considered by the Court. For example, facts not included in a
party's statement of material facts or in a party's statement of
additional facts are not considered by the Court because to do so
would rob the other party of the opportunity to show such facts
are disputed. Thus, facts either party included in its/his
brief(s) but not in its/his Rule 56.1 statement of facts are not
considered by the Court because the other party had no
opportunity to controvert the facts. Defendant argues that this
means the Court cannot consider any facts the plaintiff mentions
in his response to defendant's statement of facts. That is not
quite right. In his response, plaintiff is obligated to put forth
evidence to controvert any facts defendant supports in its
statement of facts. The Court will consider the evidence
plaintiff puts forth in determining whether there is a material
issue of fact. Additional facts, however, are considered only if
the non-moving party sets them out (and properly supports them)
in a Rule 56.1 statement of additional facts.
Defendant also complains that plaintiff has denied many of
defendant's facts without putting forth admissible evidence and,
thus, that all of defendant's facts should be deemed admitted.
Defendant is correct that where one party supports a fact with
admissible evidence and the other party denies the fact without
citation to admissible evidence, the Court deems the fact
admitted. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Services, Inc.,
368 F.3d 809, 817-818 (7th Cir. 2004). This, however, does not
absolve defendant of its initial burden of putting forth
admissible evidence to support its facts. Asserted "facts" not
supported by deposition testimony, documents, affidavits or other
evidence admissible for summary judgment purposes are not
considered by the Court.*fn1 The following facts are undisputed unless otherwise noted.
The company and Milo's employment
Contour Saws is a subsidiary of DoALL Company, which
manufactures sawing elements, sawing machines and cutting fluids,
among other things. Contour Saws develops and manufactures DoALL
industrial saw blades. It operates a manufacturing facility in
Des Plaines, Illinois, where it employed about 100 individuals as
of the year 2000. Each of those employees worked in one of five
departments: Slitting/Edging, Bi-metal, Milling/Grinding, the Saw
Plant or Carbide.
The Carbide Department has been run, since 1996, by John
Przybylski ("Przybylski"), the Vice President of Manufacturing.
During the relevant time period, Tom Koszewski ("Koszewski") was
the Foreman of the Carbide Department. Milo worked in the Carbide
Department during most of his employment with Contour Saws.
Contour Saws first hired Milo in 1990 as a high speed heat
treat operator. In that position (and in all of his positions at
Contour Saws), Milo worked the second shift, i.e., 4:45 p.m. to
2:45 a.m. Within one year, Contour Saws promoted Milo to a Carbide
Department position, in which Milo operated a machine that brazed
carbide cutting tips to the teeth of saw blades.
Contour Saws promoted Milo again in 1997. At that time, his
foreman recommended him for the position of second-shift lead man
for the Carbide Department. Contour Saws selected Milo because he
knew how to operate the machines and was able to train other
employees. As lead man, Milo was responsible not only for
operating his own brazing machine but also for directing the work
of three second-shift Carbide employees, including Andrzej Rog
("Rog"), a brazer/setter; Eugeniusz Nowak, a grinder; and Vitthal
Patel ("Patel"), a grinder. As lead man, Milo possessed the keys
to Koszewski's office.
Milo's discrimination complaints
During his employment with Contour Saws, Milo (a 48-year-old
Filipino man) witnessed what he considered to be discrimination
and complained about it on a few occasions. At some point,
Przybylski told Milo that because Milo is Filipino, he is
quality-oriented and that because Przybylski is Polish, he takes
pride in his work. In the spring of 2000, Milo complained to
Koszewski that employees were calling other employees
racist/offensive names, such as "wetbacks," "Pollocks," "Flips,"
Also in the spring of 2000, Milo twice witnessed the
disciplining of second-shift employee Vitthal Patel. At the first
disciplinary meeting, at which Koszewski and Milo were present,
Przybylski gave Patel a verbal warning. About a month later, the
company set up a meeting to give Patel a written warning, because
his performance again needed improvement. Before the meeting
started, Koszewski and Milo waited for Przybylski and Patel.
Koszewski told Milo that Przybylski had said that he hates
Hindus, "Indian guys" and Patel because he is too old and too
slow to move. (Przybylski, for his part, denies making the
statement.) Milo asked Koszewski whether the company was disciplining Patel for his work
or because Przybylski hated Indians and/or thought Patel was too
Milo also complained to Human Resources Director Kenneth Stock
("Stock") about the distribution of overtime. Milo asserts that
Alex Mejia, a Mexican carbide technician, received more overtime
that he. Milo, however, routinely turned down overtime work,
which typically required working on Friday (a day the employees
usually did not work).
Another incident that displeased Milo occurred in August 2000.
Koszewski concluded that someone had been sleeping in his office
and that things were missing. Accordingly, he decided that he no
longer wanted anyone to have access to his office when he was not
present. Koszewski required Milo to return the key to Koszewski's
Events leading to the termination of Milo's employment with
At some point, Contour Saws decided to phase out brazing. In
the first quarter of 2000, DoALL's Sales Department informed
Przybylski that the industry was changing to welded product.
Contour maintains that it is more efficient to weld saws than to
braze them because a typical brazer could braze three carbide
tips per minute, while a typical welder could weld thirty carbide
tips per minute. Contour Saws's shipments ...