United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
W. DARRAH United States District Court Judge.
Inetta Burns filed a Complaint against Defendant Wal-Mart
Stores, Inc. (“Wal-mart”) for gender
discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. Defendant filed
a Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of
Civil Procedure 56. For the reasons set forth below,
Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment  is denied in
part and granted in part.
Rule 56.1(a)(3) requires the moving party to provide “a
statement of material facts as to which the party contends
there is no genuine issue for trial.” Ammons v.
Aramark Uniform Servs., 368 F.3d 809, 817 (7th Cir.
2004). Local Rule 56.1(b)(3) requires the nonmoving party to
admit or deny every factual statement proffered by the moving
party and to concisely designate any material facts that
establish a genuine dispute for trial. See Schrott v.
Bristol-Myers Squibb Co., 403 F.3d 940, 944 (7th Cir.
2005). A nonmovant's “mere disagreement with the
movant's asserted facts is inadequate if made without
reference to specific supporting material.” Smith
v. Lamz, 321 F.3d 680, 683 (7th Cir. 2003). In the case
of any disagreement, the nonmoving party must reference
affidavits, parts of the record, and other materials that
support his stance. Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(B). To the extent
that a response to a statement of material fact provides only
extraneous or argumentative information, this response will
not constitute a proper denial of the fact, and the fact is
admitted. See Graziano v. Vill. of Oak Park, 401
F.Supp.2d 918, 936 (N.D. Ill. 2005). Similarly, to the extent
that a statement of fact contains a legal conclusion or
otherwise unsupported statement, including a fact that relies
upon inadmissible hearsay, such a fact is disregarded.
Eisenstadt v. Centel Corp., 113 F.3d 738, 742 (7th Cir.
1997). Pursuant to Local Rule 56.1(b)(3)(C), the nonmovant
may submit additional statements of material facts that
“require the denial of summary judgment.”
district court is entitled to expect strict compliance with
Rule 56.1; substantial compliance is not enough.
Ammons, 368 F.3d at 817. “When a responding
party's statement fails to dispute the facts set forth in
the moving party's statement in the manner dictated by
the rule, those facts are deemed admitted for purposes of the
motion.” Curtis v. Costco Wholesale Corp., 807
F.3d 215, 218 (7th Cir. 2015) (quoting Cracco v. Vitran
Express, Inc., 559 F.3d 625, 632 (7th Cir. 2009)).
preliminary matter, Defendant filed a Motion to Strike 
Plaintiff's responses to Defendant's Statement of
Facts and Plaintiff's Statement of Additional Facts. As
noted above, substantial compliance with Local Rule 56.1 is
not enough. To the extent that Plaintiff's responses to
Defendant's Statement of Facts are not in strict
compliance with Local Rule 56.1, the facts that are not
properly disputed will be deemed admitted for the purposes of
this Motion. To the extent that Plaintiff's Statement of
Additional Facts relies on inadmissible hearsay or is not
supported by the cited material, those additional facts will
also not be admitted for the purposes of this
Motion. Defendant also moves to strike several
exhibits offered in support of Plaintiff's Statement of
Additional Facts, arguing that the exhibits have not been
authenticated or otherwise made admissible in evidence. As
noted by Defendant in its Motion , these documents were
produced to Plaintiff by Defendant in this case and, as such,
are self-authenticating and constitute admissions of a party
opponent. See United States v. Brown, 688 F.2d 1112
(7th Cir. 1982); see also Architectural Iron
Workers Local No. 63 Welfare Fund v. United Contractors,
Inc., 46 F.Supp.2d 769, 772 (N.D. Ill. 1999).
Defendant's Motion to Strike  Plaintiff's
exhibits is denied.
following facts are taken from the parties' statements of
undisputed material facts submitted in accordance with Local
Rule 56.1. Plaintiff was a female employee of Wal-Mart,
working as a training coordinator at a Wal-Mart store in
North Carolina. Plaintiff began her employment with
Wal-Mart on or about January 10, 2005. (Dkt. 36 ¶ 1.)
Prior to working at Wal-Mart, Plaintiff worked as a manager
at K-Mart for over ten years. (Id. ¶ 4.) After
Plaintiff was hired by Wal-Mart, she began the Management in
Training (“MIT”) program. (Id. ¶
5.) While Plaintiff was in the MIT program, Wal-Mart was
building a new store in Glenwood, Illinois. (Id.
¶ 6.) On March 14, 2005, Plaintiff contacted District
Manager Jack Buser and requested to be placed at the Glenwood
store as an Assistant Manager when she completed the MIT
program. Plaintiff wanted to work at the Glenwood store
because it was closer to her home. (Id. ¶ 13.)
Plaintiff spoke to Buser about her desire to work in Glenwood
on at least two occasions prior to sending her request.
(Id. ¶ 8.)
Plaintiff completed the MIT program, she was placed as an
Assistant Manager in the Wal-Mart store in Matteson,
Illinois. (Id. ¶ 9.) After an accident at the
Matteson store, Plaintiff requested and received a transfer
to the Bradley, Illinois store. (Id. ¶ 10.)
Plaintiff's District Manager, J.D. Hacker, approved her
transfer. (Id. ¶ 11.) On May 17, 2005,
Plaintiff sent an email to Buser, asking to be transferred to
the Glenwood store. Buser advised Plaintiff to speak to
Hacker about her request. (Id. ¶ 12.)
Plaintiff's request was denied, and she was not
transferred to the Glenwood store as an Assistant Manager.
(Id. ¶ 17.) Plaintiff alleges that Hacker told
her that he would not transfer her to the Glenwood store
because she was a new Assistant Manager and that he preferred
to staff new stores with experienced managers. (Id.
¶ 15.) Hacker does not remember this conversation but
testified that generally, Wal-Mart did not recommend placing
new Assistant Managers in new stores. (Id. ¶
15.) Wal-Mart does not have a written policy regarding
placement of new Assistant Managers in new stores.
(Id. ¶ 14.) Buser, Hacker and Market Manager
Daniel Ketcham testified that new Assistant Managers are
generally not placed in new stores because of the
difficulties involved with opening a new store. (Id.
¶¶ 14, 16.) Plaintiff later stepped down from her
position as Assistant Manager and transferred to the Glenwood
store as an Associate on or about August 6, 2005.
(Id. ¶ 17.)
Plaintiff was working at the Glenwood store, Gewargis Tammo
was working as an Assistant Manager in the Tire and Lube
Express (“TLE”) department. Plaintiff and Tammo
completed the MIT program together. (Id. ¶ 18.)
After Tammo completed the MIT program, he was placed as an
Assistant Manager in the TLE department at the Glenwood
store. (Id. ¶ 21.)
alleges she was discriminated against on the basis of her
sex. After she stepped down from her position as Assistant
Manager, Plaintiff alleges she applied for a Support Manager
position in 2009. Plaintiff was not granted an interview for
the position. Plaintiff overheard that the Support Manager
position was given to a male employee. Plaintiff cannot name
or describe the people she heard talking about the position
and does not know who received the position. She did not
verify that a male employee was hired as Support Manager.
(Id. ¶ 25.) Plaintiff also alleges that she
spoke to Tammo while she was completing the MIT program and
discovered that Tammo was receiving more pay. Tammo stated in
his deposition that he did not discuss his pay with Plaintiff
at any time. (Id. ¶¶ 29-31.) Tammo and
Plaintiff were paid the same salary as Assistant Managers.
(Id. ¶ 31.) Plaintiff further alleges that she
heard male employees discuss their pay and realized that they
were making more money than she. (Id. ¶¶
judgment is appropriate when “the movant shows that
there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the
movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 56. Courts deciding summary judgment motions
must view facts “in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party only if there is a ‘genuine'
dispute as to those facts.” Scott v. Harris,
550 U.S. 372, 380 (2007). A genuine dispute as to any
material fact exists if “the evidence is such that a
reasonable jury could return a verdict for the nonmoving
party.” Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477
U.S. 242, 248 (1986). The moving party has the initial burden
of establishing that there is no genuine dispute as to any
material fact. Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 323 (1986). If the moving party meets this burden,
“[t]he nonmoving party must point to specific facts
showing that there is a genuine issue for trial.”
Stephens v. Erickson, 569 F.3d 779, 786 (7th Cir.
2009). Factual disputes do “not preclude summary
judgment when the dispute does not involve a ...