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Vega v. Chicago Park District

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois

March 13, 2017

LYDIA VEGA, Plaintiff,
v.
CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT, Defendant.

          Annette M. McGarry, Marianne C. Holzhall, McGarry & McGarry, LLC Attorneys for Chicago Park District

          CHICAGO PARK DISTRICT'S MOTION FOR JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF LAW

          Jorge L. Alonso Judge

         The Chicago Park District (“Park District”) moves for entry of judgment as a matter of law in its favor on the claims of Lydia Vega (“Vega”) for national-origin discrimination and retaliation under both Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981.

         I. INTRODUCTION

         Vega has presented no admissible evidence from which a reasonable jury could find either that that the Park District discriminated against her on the basis of her Hispanic heritage, or that the Park District discharged her in retaliation for her complaint of discrimination. Specifically:

• Vega has presented no direct evidence that the Park District discharged her because of her Hispanic ancestry.
• Vega has presented no evidence that she was treated differently from similarly-situated Caucasian or African-American park supervisors.
• Vega has presented no evidence that the Park District's reason for terminating her - falsification of her timesheets - was merely a pretext.
• Vega has presented no evidence that the Park District has a practice of discriminating against Hispanics that is so widespread and pervasive that it rises to the level of unwritten policy.
• Vega has presented no evidence that she engaged in any “protected activity” that might support a retaliation claim, or that the persons who made the decision to discharge her were aware of any protected activity before her termination.

         Given the absence of any evidence from which a reasonable jury could find discrimination or retaliation, this Court should enter judgment as a matter of law in favor of the Park District, pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 50.

         II. ARGUMENT

         Rule 50 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provides that a court may enter judgment as a matter of law under the following circumstances:

If during a trial by jury a party has been fully heard on an issue and there is no legally sufficient evidentiary basis for a reasonable jury to find for that party on that issue, the court may determine the issue against that party and may grant a motion for judgment as a matter of law against that party with respect to a claim or defense that cannot under ...

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