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Gibbons v. Banterra Bank Corp.

December 19, 2005

CYNTHIA G. GIBBONS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
BANTERRA BANK CORPORATION A/K/A BANTERRA BANK, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Foreman, District Judge

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER

Before the Court is defendant's motion for summary judgment (Doc. 34). Plaintiff has filed a response, (Docs. 43,44), and defendant has filed a reply (Doc. 45).

I. Background

The following facts are undisputed. On May 29, 1978, plaintiff, a high school graduate with no banking experience, was hired as a bank teller by the Bank of Egypt in Marion, Illinois. In 1985, Egypt Bancorp, Inc. acquired the Bank of Egypt. Also about this time, plaintiff was promoted to loan secretary in the loan department. In 1989, Banterra Corp. acquired Egypt Bancorp.

Plaintiff's loan department supervisor was Jon Patton, and he remained her supervisor for the next fifteen (15) years. After starting as a loan secretary, plaintiff began assuming additional lending responsibilities, and eventually, she began doing her own loans and in 1993, she received her own lending authority.

In 1998, Banterra Bank of Marion merged with four other independent banks which collectively became "Banterra Bank." As a result of the merger, Banterra Bank experienced numerous organizational changes. For example, in November 1999, the lending group was divided into two divisions: Retail Banking and Commercial Banking. Plaintiff was assigned to the Commercial Banking Division, and was later designated as a Commercial Officer I. Another organizational change was the establishment of a company-wide pay grade system, which followed the recommendations of Professional Banking Services. The first formal pay grade system was introduced to employees in 2000.

From 1995 through 2000, plaintiff's salary increased from $20,000 to $45,000, which is an increase of 125% in five years. From 1993 through 2000, plaintiff received the following bonuses:

1993 $2,000 1994 $3,000 1995 $4,000 1996 $4,000 1997 $4,000 1998 $1,701 1999 $1,125 2000 $1,375 (Doc. 35, Exh. I).

In February, 2001, Mr. Patton was transferred out of lending, and as a result, his loan portfolio was distributed among other employees. Plaintiff received over five million dollars, ($5,000,000), of loans from his portfolio, and some of the other loans were assigned to employee Steve Lappin.

On August 24, 2001, plaintiff delivered a resignation letter. This letter read:

Please accept my resignation effective August 31, 2001. I will work until September 7th if you feel it to be necessary. It has been a pleasure working with Banterra. (Doc 35, Exh. M).

Plaintiff's last day of work was August 24, 2001.

Approximately three weeks after her resignation, plaintiff asked defendant for her job back. (Doc. 35, Exh. A, pp.113-117). According to defendant, it did not rehire plaintiff because the bank was reducing its workforce and determined that plaintiff's lending portfolio would be naturally reduced through attrition. (Doc. 34, Exh, C, p.5).

Plaintiff has sued defendant under Title VII for unequal pay, unequal job duties, and for failure to promote. Plaintiff also claims that defendant subjected her to a hostile work environment based on gender which led to her constructive ...


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