United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
PATRICIA J. O'DONNELL, Plaintiff,
CAINE & WEINER COMPANY, LLC. Defendant.
M. O'Hagan, Jamie L. Filipovic, Ryan T. Benson,
O'Hagan Meyer, LLC Attorney for Caine & Weiner
T. Rosellio ERNEST T. ROSSIELLO & ASSOCIATES, P.C.
DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A JUDGMENT AS A MATTER OF
LAW ON RETALIATION CLAIMS
COMES the Defendant, CAINE & WEINER COMPANY, LLC
(“Caine Weiner”), by and through its attorneys
O'HAGAN MEYER, LLC, and moves this Honorable Court for a
Judgment as a Matter of Law under Rule 50(a) of the Federal
Rules of Civil Procedure on Plaintiff's claims for
retaliation under Title VII of 1964, 42 USCS § 2000e-3
and the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. 206(d). In support thereof,
Defendant states as follows:
O'Donnell (“Plaintiff”) has shown no
discriminatory motive for why Brian Patterson, Frank
Dispensa, Joe Batie or Chris Melisko would recommend her
termination based on the complaints she made regarding wages.
The evidence established in Plaintiff's case in chief is
merely that Plaintiff made complaints and that the decision
to terminate her came after she took and copied confidential
information. To establish retaliation, Plaintiff must prove
by a a preponderance of the evidence that her complaints were
a motive in her termination. Not only has she not met her
burden, there is not even a scintilla of evidence of motive.
No witness has presented evidence that a reasonable trier of
fact could find in favor of Plaintiff on her retaliation
Rule 50(a) Standard
Rule 50(a), a court should render judgment as a matter of law
when “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.”
Fed R. Civ. P. 50(a); see also Reeves v. Sanderson
Plumbing Products, Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 120 S.Ct. 2097,
2109, 147 L.Ed.2d 105 (2000).
motion for judgment as a matter of law should be granted only
when there can be but one conclusion from the
evidence.” Id. at 636 (citation omitted). The
Court applies this standard in reviewing Defendants'
arguments for judgment on each count. Roberts v. County
of Cook, 01 C 9373, 2004 WL 1088230, at *1 (N.D. Ill.
May 12, 2004).
Title VII and Equal Pay Act Retaliation Standard
has brought two separate retaliation claims that she has
tried to present to the jury in this trial. The first is
under Title VII of 1964, 42 USCS § 2000e-3 and the
second under the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. 206(d). In order to
set forth a claim based on retaliation under the Equal Pay
Act or Title VII, O'Donnell must allege that: (1) she
engaged in statutorily protected activity; (2) she suffered
an adverse action by her employer or former employer; and (3)
a causal link exists between the protected expression and the
adverse action. See Dunning v. Simmons Airlines,
Inc., 62 F.3d 863, 868-69 (7th Cir. 1995); also see
EEOC v. K & J Mgmt., Inc., 2000 U.S. Dist. LEXIS
8012, 7 (N.D. Ill. June 7, 2000); Miller v. Am. Family
Mut. Ins. Co., 203 F.3d 997, 1007 (7th Cir. 2000).
establish causation, a plaintiff must do more than merely
point to the temporal link between engaging in protected
activity and an adverse employment action; rather, the
plaintiff must put forth other evidence that suggests that
the protected activities were related to the employer's
decision. Hall v. Forest River, Inc., 536 F.3d 615
(7th Cir. 2008).
the context of a claim of retaliation, while it is true that
a court may consider temporal proximity of the protected
expression and the adverse employment action in its causation
analysis, temporal sequence is not all the court considers.
The court must look to any intervening cause that breaks the
causal chain.” Smith v. Am. Airlines, Inc.,
2001 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8443, *14 (N.D. Ill. June 19, 2001).
“Thus, an ...