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Uguroglu v. Gutierrez

September 11, 2007

MARGARET E. UGUROGLU, PLAINTIFF,
v.
CARLOS M. GUTIERREZ, SECRETARY, DEPARTMENT OF COMMERCE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Judge George M. Marovich

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

Plaintiff Margaret E. Uguroglu ("Uguroglu") filed a complaint asserting that she was discriminated against on account of her sex, age and race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Defendant has filed a motion for summary judgment. For the reasons set forth below, the Court grants defendant's motion for summary judgment.

I. Background

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). Where one party supports a fact with admissible evidence and the other party fails to respond, the Court deems the fact admitted. See Ammons v. Aramark Uniform Services, Inc., 368 F.3d 809, 817-818 (7th Cir. 2004). This does not, however, absolve the party who asserted a fact of its initial burden of putting forth admissible evidence to support its fact. Asserted "facts" not supported by deposition testimony, documents, affidavits or other evidence admissible for summary judgment purposes are not considered by the Court.

In this case, the plaintiff failed to respond to defendant's statement of material facts within the nearly two months allotted by the Court's briefing schedule. Approximately one month after the deadline had passed, the Court sua sponte granted plaintiff one additional week to respond and stated that if plaintiff failed to respond, it would rule on defendant's motion without plaintiff's response. Plaintiff failed to file a response by the newly-extended deadline. For the reasons stated in open court on August 28, 2007, the Court now considers defendant's motion for summary judgment without any response by plaintiff. The Court has carefully reviewed the record and has deemed admitted only those facts asserted by defendant that defendant supported with admissible evidence. The following facts are undisputed.

Plaintiff Margaret Uguroglu worked as a supervisory survey statistician for the United States Bureau of Census from 1987 until June 2001, when she resigned. Between 1996 and 1998, she filed with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission three charges of discrimination, though it is not clear from the record what those charges alleged.

Over the years, Uguroglu applied for promotions. The first time Uguroglu applied for a promotion was in 1987. The most recent time was in 1998, when Uguroglu applied for a temporary position as an area manager for the 2000 census. She was never promoted.

During the last eighteen months of her employment with the Census Bureau, Uguroglu experienced treatment that she did not like. For example, plaintiff was displeased with her performance review for the year ending June 30, 2000. In the review, her supervisor, Melva Jones ("Jones"), gave Uguroglu a "meets or exceeds" rating but Uguroglu thought Jones should have given her more positive feedback. Instead, Jones informed plaintiff that she needed to increase the response rates she obtained for surveys and needed to recruit more field staff to handle the surveys. Six months later, Jones again informed plaintiff that in order to receive a "meets or exceeds" rating on her next annual review, she would need to improve her response rates and hire more field staff.

Uguroglu also disliked that Jones sometimes reviewed her written work. Once, Uguroglu needed to revise a letter four times before Jones approved its release. Another time, Jones gave plaintiff two options for communicating a piece of information: Uguroglu could either send an email after it had been reviewed by Jones or send a memo after it had been reviewed by a regional director. Instead, to avoid any review, Uguroglu sent a hand-written note that was reviewed by no one.

This was not the only time Uguroglu failed to follow instructions. For example, after Jones instructed plaintiff to send a list of assignments to one group of field representatives, plaintiff sent the assignments to a different group. On another occasion, Uguroglu left work without approval even though she had been told she should not leave work without approval.

Uguroglu also disliked it when her supervisor told her how to supervise the employees plaintiff supervised. For example, Uguroglu did not like Jones's instruction that plaintiff should check the leave balances of her field representatives before approving their requests for leave. Uguroglu also did not like that Jones sometimes gave instructions directly to field representatives who reported to Uguroglu.

Uguroglu was also disappointed with respect to her requests for time off. On several occasions, Uguroglu felt that her requests for time off were granted too late for her to make travel plans. When plaintiff requested in May 2001 a medical leave for an indefinite period of time, it bothered her that her then-supervisor, Gail Krmenec, asked that she provide by a set deadline documentation supporting her request for leave. Ultimately, plaintiff provided the documentation, and Krmenec granted plaintiff's request for leave.

Finally, Uguroglu believes that she was treated unfairly by administrative staff. She complains that administrative staff failed to inform her that the office stocked dry-erase markers and that an administrative staff member took too long to obtain airline tickets for Uguroglu.

In February 2001, Uguroglu sought EEO counseling with respect to these events. Uguroglu resigned her position in June 2001. She filed with this Court a complaint in which she alleges that she was discriminated against on the basis or her age, sex and race and that she was retaliated against in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights ...


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