United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division
DARROW, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court are Defendant Central Pool and Supply's
(“CPS”) motion for summary judgment, ECF No. 21;
Defendant's motion to strike portions of Plaintiff's
response to that motion, ECF No. 28; and Plaintiff's
motion for an order correcting his response, ECF No. 31. For
the following reasons, the motion for summary judgment is
DENIED. The other motions are MOOT.
Sauceda's father is French, and his mother is Mexican,
and Hispanic. Sauceda Dep. 90:3-23, Pl.'s Ex. 2, ECF No.
26-2. CPS is a swimming pool distribution and retail business
in Moline, Illinois. CPS hired Sauceda as a driver on
February 20, 2012. Since it is a pool company, CPS's
business is seasonal. The company has only three full-time
salaried employees: the district manager, the store manager,
and the warehouse manager. Randy Gebhardt has been the
district manager for CPS since 1988, and owns CPS with his
brother. Greg Sommer is the store manager. Mitchell George
was the warehouse manager at the time Sauceda was hired.
George hired Sauceda, but Gebhardt ultimately made the hiring
decisions. According to George, when George hired Sauceda,
Gebhardt was upset when he discovered that Sauceda had
Mexican heritage. George Aff. ¶ 8, ECF No. 26-1.
responsibilities as driver included delivering pool supplies
to customers from the Moline store location. For the first
few months after Sauceda was hired, George was his immediate
supervisor. Eventually, Gebhardt fired George, Sauceda Dep.
23:9-11, and Bill Parker was hired as warehouse manager,
id. at 23:4-8. Later, Gebhardt also fired Parker,
id. at 15-25, and Gebhardt promoted Sauceda to
warehouse manager. The responsibilities of this position
included ensuring that warehouse inventory was correct, that
materials were delivered correctly, and the hiring and firing
of warehouse workers. However, Sauceda still worked as a
driver in tandem with his responsibilities as warehouse
manager. Id. at 24:10-19. Sauceda also had to check
all orders leaving the warehouse to ensure that they were
correct. In the warehouse manager position, Gebhardt was
Sauceda's immediate supervisor.
Sauceda and Gebhardt appear to have had a friendly
relationship in some ways, with Gebhardt at one point lending
Sauceda $700 for a plane ticket to go see his relatives,
Sauceda describes it as rife with acts of racism by Gebhardt.
The acts Sauceda attests to are listed below in no particular
• Gebhardt called Sauceda a “Frenchican, ” a
term whose attempted humor came from Sauceda's mixed
heritage. Sauceda Dep. 57:13-19, 57:24-58:7.
• Once Sauceda became warehouse manager, Gebhardt talked
about Sauceda's ethnicity on “[a]lmost a daily
basis, ” id. at 59:6, and “constantly,
” id. at 73:9. Gebhardt brought it up in such
ways as telling Sauceda to tell Spanish-speaking customers,
for whom Sauceda would translate, that the store didn't
accept pesos, asking Sauceda in September 2012 if he would
like the day off on Mexican Independence Day, and asking
Sauceda if he “[rode] a burro and [drank] tequila like
all Mexicans.” Id. at 59:8-13.
• Gebhardt called Sauceda a “[s]tupid fuckin'
Mexican” when something was not on a pallet for an
order. Id. at 67:14. Sauceda said that Gebhardt did
this “[y]ou know, just every time he had a
chance.” Id. at 67:15.
• He frequently referred to Sauceda as a “dirty
Mexican.” Id. at 99:22-100:5.
• Gebhardt asked Sauceda if he had any cousins or
relatives who were in the United States illegally.
Id. at 70:7-11.
• “During the preliminary stages of the hiring
process . . . Gebhardt told [George] directly, ‘Do not
hire any Mexicans or black people. All they do is steal from
me.'” George Aff ¶ 6.
• Gebhardt told Sauceda to “hire a Mexican because
they'll work until their fingers fall off, and everyone
should own at least one or two.” Id. at
70:21-24. Gebhardt also asked Sauceda “Do you know any
Mexicans that do yardwork? I need my grass cut. Everybody
should own one or two Mexicans, or a Mexican and a
nigger.” Id. at 73:21-23.
• When Congresswoman Cheri Bustos was running for
congress, Gebhardt told Sauceda “[if] she wins,
it'll be tacos for everyone.” Id. at
• At one point, Sauceda was unloading a truck while it
was raining, and his back was wet. Gebhardt patted him on the
back and said “you should be ...