The opinion of the court was delivered by: Sue E. Myerscough, U.S. District Judge:
Tuesday, 21 February, 2012 03:40:50 PM
Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD
This cause is before the Court on the Motion for Partial Summary Judgment*fn1 (d/e 52) filed pro se by Plaintiff Michael Sanders, the Motion for Summary Judgment filed by Defendant Illinois Department of Central Management Services (d/e 53), and Defendant's Motion to Strike Portions of Plaintiff's Objection (d/e 68).
In his Complaint, Plaintiff alleged Defendant violated § 12112(d)(4)(A) of the Americans with Disabilities Act (42 U.S.C. § 12112(d)(4)(A)) (ADA) by requiring him to submit to a psychological independent medical examination (IME), disciplining him for refusing to submit to the IME, and discharging him for refusing to submit to the IME. In the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment, Defendant asserts that its decision to require Plaintiff to attend the IME was jobrelated and consistent with business necessity.
In Plaintiff's response to the Motion for Summary Judgment, he argues that Defendant maintains a work environment that is racially hostile and "rife with acts of illegal retaliation and discriminatory conduct directed toward individuals with certain types of disabilities." This response triggered the filing of Defendant's Motion to Strike. Plaintiff has also filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment, asserting that the Illinois Civil Service Commission's (Commission) decision should operate as either res judicata or collateral estoppel to bar Defendant from arguing that Defendant directed Plaintiff to undergo the IMEs for the purpose of determining whether he (1) was able to perform the essential functions of his job or (2) posed a threat to the safety of others in the workplace.
For the reasons that follow, Defendant's Motion to Strike is GRANTED and both Motions for Summary Judgment are DENIED.
I. JURISDICTION AND VENUE
This Court has subject matter jurisdiction because Plaintiff asserted claims based on federal law. See 28 U.S.C. § 1331 ("The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of all civil actions arising under the Constitution, laws, or treaties of the United States"). Venue is proper because the events giving rise to the claim occurred within the judicial district of this Court. See 28 U.S.C. § 1391(b)(2) (a civil action may be brought in "a judicial district in which a substantial part of the events or omissions giving rise to the claim occurred").
II. LEGAL STANDARD FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Summary judgment is appropriate "if the pleadings, depositions, answers to interrogatories, and admissions 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." Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322 (1986); see also, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c). A moving party must show that no reasonable fact-finder could return a verdict for the non-moving party. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 252 (1986); Gleason v. Mesirow Fin., Inc., 118 F.3d 1134, 1139 (7th Cir. 1997).
The movant bears the burden of establishing that there is no genuine issue of material fact. Celotex Corp, 477 U.S. at 323. If the movant meets this burden, the non-movant must set forth specific facts demonstrating that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e); Anderson, 477 U.S. at 252.
In deciding a motion for summary judgment, a court can only consider sworn statements based on personal knowledge and other evidence that would be admissible at trial under the Federal Rules of Evidence. Stinnett v. Iron Works Gym/Executive Health Spa, Inc., 301 F.3d 610, 613 (7th Cir. 2002). The evidence is viewed in the light most favorable to the non-movant and "all justifiable inferences are to be drawn in his favor." Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255.
Summary judgment is inappropriate when alternate inferences can be drawn from the evidence, as the choice between reasonable inferences from facts is a jury function. Id. However, conclusory allegations do not create issues of fact which forestall summary judgment. See Sublett v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., 463 F.3d 731, 740 (7th Cir. 2006) ("it is . . . axiomatic that a plaintiff's conclusory statements do not create an issue of fact").
Initially, this Court notes that Local Rule 7.1(D), which sets forth specific requirements for litigants to follow for summary judgment motions and responses, does not apply to pro se litigants such as Plaintiff. See Local Rule 7.1(D)(6). However, Plaintiff did respond to Defendant's statement of undisputed facts. Therefore, this Court will take into consideration Plaintiff's responses to the statement of undisputed facts when examining the facts of the case.
A. Plaintiff's Employment with Defendant
Plaintiff began working for the State of Illinois in 1993. In 2000, Plaintiff was employed with the Illinois Department of Public Aid as a data processing technician. In February 2005, Plaintiff became employed with the Illinois Department of Human Services as a data processing technician. Victor Puckett was Plaintiff's immediate supervisor.
On March 16, 2005, Defendant's Bureau of Communications and Computer Services assumed management of data processing for all State agencies. Due to the consolidation of data processing within the Defendant, Plaintiff became an employee of Defendant.
Plaintiff remained employed as a data processing technician after the consolidation. Plaintiff worked second-shift in the Input Unit of Input/Output Control. His duties included monitoring computer programs and correcting the programs if they failed to run correctly.
On February 10, 2005, Puckett sent an email to the Input Unit, including Plaintiff, that directed employees to inform their immediate supervisor if they needed to leave their work area. On February 11, 2005, Puckett sent an email to Plaintiff directing Plaintiff to refrain from entering unauthorized areas at work and directing Plaintiff to refrain from leaving his work area without notifying his supervisor. On March 9, 2005, Puckett sent an email to Plaintiff directing Plaintiff to stop attempting to fix a program malfunction with his own flow chart and to only fix a program with flow charts that had been provided.
On June 8, 2005, Plaintiff received a one-day suspension for being absent from his work area without notifying his supervisor and for being in a restricted area of the workplace. While Plaintiff does not dispute that factual statement, Plaintiff asserts that the allegations are unrelated to the charges contained in his Notice of Discharge and are, along with the other evidence of incidents between Plaintiff and Puckett, evidence of harassment by Puckett.
On June 10, 2005, Puckett sent Plaintiff an email advising Plaintiff that Plaintiff incorrectly performed a work-related task. Puckett advised Plaintiff that an immediate supervisor should be notified prior to Plaintiff attempting to fix a programing error. Plaintiff responded, by email, that Puckett's email was "petty" and complained that Puckett's complaints were "trivial and mundane." Plaintiff also wrote that he "would appreciate it if you would take more time to consider the relevance of your E-Mails before you send them to me."
On June 24, 2005, Puckett sent Plaintiff an email advising Plaintiff not to leave his work area if no one else was present. In his July 2, ...