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Galvan v. Cmty. Unit Sch. Dist. No. # 300

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

June 4, 2014


For Rogelio Galvan, Plaintiff: Michael T. Smith, Michael T. Smith & Associates, Roselle, IL.

For Community School District No. #300, Defendant: Gwendolyn B. Morales, Scott Cruz, Franczek Radelet PC, Chicago, IL.

Page 837

Memorandum Opinion and Order

Gary Feinerman, United States District Judge.

Rogelio Galvan filed this suit against his employer, Community Unit School District No. # 300, alleging national origin discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and age discrimination in violation of the Age Discrimination in Employment Act (" ADEA" ), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et seq. Doc 1. The District has moved under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 for summary judgment. Doc. 46. Because the summary judgment record shows as a matter of law that Galvan did not suffer a materially adverse employment action, the motion is granted.


The facts are set forth as favorably to Galvan as the record and Local Rule 56.1 allow. See Hanners v. Trent, 674 F.3d 683, 691 (7th Cir. 2012). Galvan came to the United States from Mexico in 1983, and his primary language in Spanish. Doc. 64 at ¶ 1. He has worked since 2000 as a second-shift custodian at Jacobs High School, which is part of the District. Doc. 55 at ¶ ¶ 2, 4. Galvan's shift runs from 3:00 p.m. to 11:30 p.m., and he completes janitorial work within an assigned area at Jacobs. Id. at ¶ 4. Galvan knows very little English, but this does not interfere with his ability to perform his job. Id. at ¶ ¶ 5-7, 13; Doc. 64 at ¶ ¶ 1-2.

Ray Veilleux was the Building Manager at Jacobs and Galvan's supervisor from July 2009 to September 2011. Doc. 55 at ¶ 9; Doc. 64 at ¶ 4. During that time, Veilleux told Galvan to " speak English" as much as " two or three times a day" and " sometimes once a week." Doc. 55 at ¶ 12; see also id. at ¶ ¶ 21-23, 25 (setting forth specific instances). Galvan " didn't take those comments to heart" because they " didn't bother [him] too much." Id. at ¶ 12 (original alterations omitted). Moreover, Galvan admits that Veilleux " did not interfere with his ability to perform the essential

Page 838

functions of his job," which he did " perfectly." Id. at ¶ 13. In one instance, however, Galvan was embarrassed when Veilleux told him not to speak Spanish when talking with his nephew, also a custodian for the District. Doc. 64 at ¶ 9. In another instance, Veilleux mistreated Galvan in front of other custodians by pointing at him and scolding him. Id. at ¶ 6. Additionally, two coworkers harassed Galvan about his speaking in Spanish in the custodian room. Id. at ¶ 11. And Veilleux would get angry at Galvan when he needed an interpreter, telling him to speak English. Id. at ¶ 17.

Galvan believes that Velliux's treatment of him was motivated by a desire to eliminate Hispanic and older employees. Id. at ¶ ¶ 5, 7, 10. That said, Galvan concedes that he had no evidence to support his belief; moreover, Veilleux never disciplined Galvan for any reason, including his difficulties with the English language or for speaking Spanish, and Veilleux never counseled Galvan for performance-related reasons or made any negative comments to him about his work performance. Doc. 55 at ¶ ¶ 15, 19.

In April 2011, Galvan volunteered for an overtime opportunity to work as the sole custodian at a basketball tournament held by an outside party in the Jacobs gymnasium. Doc. 55 at ¶ ¶ 28-29. Days before the event, Veilleux warned Galvan not to request translation assistance from another custodian if he could not understand requests for urgent tasks from the outside party. Id. at ¶ ¶ 29-32, 35. Veilleux told Galvan that if he received complaints from the outside party about Galvan's inability to communicate in English, Galvan would no longer receive overtime or " comp time" opportunities that would require him to work alone, although he would remain eligible for jobs when bilingual colleagues would be present. Id. at ¶ 36; Doc. 64 at ¶ 8. It was during this conversation that Veilleux pointed at and scolded Galvan. Doc. 55 at ¶ 39; Doc. 64 at ¶ 6. Galvan worked the event without a problem, Veilleux did not receive any complaints, and Veilleux never again warned Galvan about seeking translation help from his colleagues. Doc. 55 at ¶ ¶ 40-41.

At some point, Veilleux assigned Galvan the responsibility for cleaning several rooms that had been in the area to which Jim Ranallo, another District custodian, was assigned. Doc. 64 at ¶ 12. Galvan believes that Veilleux assigned him additional rooms so that he would " fail" to perform his own job assignments, although it turns out that Galvan was able to complete all of the work and suffered no repercussions. Doc. 55 at ¶ ¶ 15, 45; Doc. 64 at ¶ 12. Additionally, Veilleux assigned Galvan more work than three non-Hispanic colleagues and gave those colleagues more overtime. Doc. 64 at ¶ ¶ 13-14. The colleagues were Ranallo, who was about " about" fifty years old; Jim Gromer, who was between thirty-five and forty years old; and Jason Arrington, who was about thirty years old. Id. at ¶ 13.

The District maintains policies, including an Equal Opportunity Policy, that prohibit discrimination and harassment. Doc. 55 at ¶ ¶ 53-54. District employees are instructed to report claims of discrimination or harassment to the Nondiscrimination Coordinator or to use the Uniform Grievance Procedure. Id. at ¶ 55. On or about May 5, 2011, a union official notified Jacobs's principal, Shelly Nacke, that Galvan complained that Veilleux had told him to speak English; in response, Nacke assigned Rick Johnson, an associate principal with supervisory authority over Veilleux, to investigate. Id ...

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