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Brown v. Lakhani Hospitality

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

March 3, 2014

THELMA BROWN, Plaintiff,


MILTON I. SHADUR, Senior District Judge.

Thelma Brown ("Brown"), acting pro se, has utilized the printed Complaint of Employment Discrimination form supplied by the Clerk's Office for use by non-lawyer-represented plaintiffs to charge her former employer Lakhani Hospitality ("Lakhani") with age discrimination and harassment that resulted in the termination of her employment (according to Lakhani she had been a part-time employee for just over a year, between April 7, 2011 and April 13, 2012 (but see n.2)). When Lakhani found no predicate at all for the advancement of those claims either in its own records or as the result of discovery, it understandably moved under Fed.R.Civ.P. ("Rule") 56 for summary judgment, supporting its motion properly with a statement of material facts buttressed by an evidentiary showing and coupling that factual presentation with a supporting memorandum of law (in those respects, see this District Court's LR 56.1(a)).

Regrettably Brown's response to Lakhani's motion not only did not conform to LR 56.1(b)'s responsive requirements, [1] but she has impermissibly ranged afield. Thus, having adduced no evidence at all that either (1) her admitted termination or (2) the unadmitted harassment that she claims to have suffered had been the result of age-based discrimination, she has shifted gears by adding a charge of sex discrimination[2] as well as by advancing a litany of grievances that are not ascribable to statutorily-prohibited discrimination at all.

In all, the competing litigants' submissions on Lakhani's Rule 56 motion have generated a 1-3/4 inch paper stack that this Court has gone through with care, even though that process has brought to mind Judge Posner's colorful phrase in United States v. Dunkel , 927 F.2d 955, 956 (7th Cir. 1991):

Judges are not like pigs hunting for truffles.

But there is no need to wade through a discussion of the minutiae contained in those materials, because Brown loses as a matter of law for two fundamental reasons:

1. Brown's original EEOC Charge of Discrimination (the one that asserted age discrimination) was filed on December 14, 2011, so that she failed to exhaust her administrative remedies to support her complaint that she was terminated for that reason in April 2012. Moreover, as already stated, none of the evidence that she has advanced supports even inferentially a determination that the problems that Lakhani encountered were in any respect age-based.
2. That latter statement applies with equal force to any claim that the asserted harassment to which Brown was subjected was grounded in her age. To the contrary, all of the matters that she has adduced as purportedly coming under the rubric of harassment were, on her own account, attributable to other employment-related reasons not governed by federal anti-discrimination statutes.


In sum, there are no genuine issues of material fact that, even with reasonable inferences in Brown's favor, preclude Lakhani's entitlement to summary judgment. This Court holds that Lakhani is entitled to a judgment as a matter of law, so that its Rule 56 motion (Dkt. 34) is granted and this action is dismissed with prejudice. March 3, 2014

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