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Wilson v. Jones

United States District Court, C.D. Illinois, Rock Island Division

May 10, 2018

LISA R. WILSON, Plaintiff,
DAVID JONES, Defendant.



         Before the Court are Plaintiff Lisa Wilson's Motion for Leave to File an Amended Complaint, ECF No. 30; the Magistrate Judge's Report and Recommendation as to Wilson's motion, ECF No. 36; and Defendant David Jones's Motion for Summary Judgment, ECF No. 49. For the reasons that follow, the Report and Recommendation is ADOPTED, Plaintiff's motion is DENIED, and Defendant's motion is GRANTED.

         BACKGROUND [[1]]

         Since 2011, Wilson, who is African-American, has worked for the City of Galesburg (“the City”) in the “Handivan Division” of the City's Community Development Department, which provides curbside transportation for residents with special needs. Wilson's position is classified as “Secretary I.” Her job duties include clerical work and dispatch. As to the latter, Wilson fields calls from Handivan passengers about when and where they want to be picked up and relays this information to the Handivan drivers. She does not provide turn-by-turn guidance to the drivers, who are free to select their own routes. Wilson Dep. 68:4-69:5, Mot. Summ. J. Ex. A, ECF No. 49-1 at 18-19 (“I would call out to the driver and let them know that they have a passenger ready or there's been a change to their schedule. But they take whatever route they choose . . . I would just tell them, you have a passenger ready at Cottage ER or Wal-Mart.”).

         The Handivan Division receives federal funding through the Department of Transportation and, consequently, must comply with applicable federal regulations. This includes regulations promulgated by the Federal Transit Administration (“FTA”) regarding prohibited alcohol and drug use, which mandate drug and alcohol testing of transportation employees responsible for safety-sensitive functions. 49 C.F.R. § 655.1. These functions include “[c]ontrolling dispatch or movement of a revenue service vehicle.” 49 C.F.R. § 655.4. The City's Handivans are revenue service vehicles.

         In July 2012, Jones was hired by the City as the Human Resource and Risk Manager. In this role, Jones was required to ensure the City complied with all federal, state, and local laws and regulations. He determined Wilson was the only Handivan employee not in the pool subject to random drug testing. In February 2014, Jones consulted Wilson, asking about her job duties. She told Jones that she performed dispatch duties. Wilson Mem. Mar. 12, 2014, Mot. Summ. J. Ex. B, ECF No. 49-2 (“I told him that I did clerical work and dispatch.”). Thereafter, Jones determined that Wilson should be in the drug testing pool. Other City employees disagreed because, in years prior, the prevailing opinion was that Wilson did not perform safety-sensitive functions because she did not provide turn-by-turn guidance. In addition, two audits in recent years had not found that the Handivan Division was out of compliance with federal regulations because Wilson was not in the drug testing pool.

         Upon being added to the drug testing pool, Wilson had to submit to an initial drug test. She was informed that she would not hear anything unless the result was positive. However, in March 2014, Jones came to the Handivan office and informed another Handivan employee, Allyson Andrews, who is also African-American, of Wilson's results, which were negative.[2]Jones testified he mistook Andrews for Wilson, Mot. Summ. J. Undisputed Material Facts ¶ 38, though Wilson disputes this assertion, Resp. Disputed Material Facts ¶ 38.

         Around this time, Jones also made several racially offensive statements to various City employees. With reference to adding Wilson to the drug testing pool, Jones said to a coworker: “Well, don't you think she should be tested? She's black.” Main Dep. 16:1-2, Mem. Opp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. L, ECF No. 52-3. Jones also asked Wilson's supervisor if she thought Wilson would pass the test. Mannon Aff. ¶ 14, Mem. Opp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. N, ECF No. 52-5. Jones testified he did not recall making either of these statements. Jones Dep. 70:21-71:10, 78:18- 79:8, Mot. Summ. J. Ex. C, ECF No. 49-3 at 19. Jones also told Andrews that because there was another City employee besides Wilson whose first name was “Lisa, ” he would call Wilson “the black Lisa.” Andrews Aff. ¶¶ 9, 17, Mem. Opp. Mot. Summ. J. Ex. M, ECF No. 52-4.

         In January 2017, the City Council passed a new policy on drug testing. This is the first iteration that lists the Handivan Secretary I position as one subject to random drug testing. Since its passage, Wilson has been selected for testing. Jones is no longer employed by the City.


         On February 6, 2016, Wilson filed a two-count complaint against the City and Jones. Compl., ECF No. 1. Jones was sued in his official and individual capacities. Count One alleged a violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Count Two alleged violations of Wilson's constitutional rights-it did not specify which rights-pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 1983. Defendants filed a motion to dismiss. Mot. Dismiss, ECF No. 3. In her response, Wilson clarified her allegations: she claims that the drug test violated her Fourth Amendment right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures; that her Fourteenth Amendment right to equal protection of the laws was violated by the City's “underutilization of minorities, ” coupled with the application of the drug test to her alone, and Jones's other alleged behavior; and that her freedom to make and enforce contracts under § 1981 was impeded by the drug test and all of Jones's workplace behavior.[3]See Mem. Opp. Mot. Dismiss 4-6, ECF No. 8.

         The Court granted Defendants' motion, dismissing all claims against the City, which was terminated as a defendant. See Order 9, ECF No. 10. The Court also dismissed Wilson's claims against Jones in his official capacity, as well as any freestanding § 1981 claim against him in his individual capacity. Id. at 7-8. The claims that went forward were those against Jones in his individual capacity pursuant to § 1983, including a § 1981 claim, a Fourth Amendment claim, and a Fourteenth Amendment equal protection claim. Id. at 8.

         On February 17, 2017, Magistrate Judge Jonathan E. Hawley entered a Rule 16 Scheduling Order, which set a March 19, 2017 deadline for amended pleadings for Wilson, and a March 20, 2017 deadline for Jones. See Feb. 17, 2017 Minute Entry (adopting the dates outlined in the Discovery Plan, ECF No. 16). The Scheduling Order also set a discovery deadline of January 17, 2018, and a dispositive motion deadline of February 17, 2018. Id.

         On November 15, 2017, Wilson filed a motion for leave to file an amended complaint pursuant to Rule 15(a)(2). Mot. Leave Amend, ECF No. 30. In support, Wilson cites several “substantial change[s] in the circumstances of the parties”: in January 2017, the City adopted a new policy on drug testing, which includes Wilson's position among those subject to random drug testing; Wilson became aware of the new policy when Jones asked her to sign it thereafter; in April 2017, she was tested pursuant to the new policy; also in April 2017, Jones resigned his position with the City; and in May 2017, Jones's original attorney withdrew and a new attorney was substituted in. Id. at 1-2. Wilson also asserts that, as of the date of filing, neither party had been deposed. Id. at 2. This motion was referred to Judge Hawley pursuant to Rule 71, and a Report and Recommendation (“R&R”), ECF No. 36, was entered December 7, 2017, recommending that the motion be denied. Wilson timely filed an objection to the R&R. Objection, ECF No. 39. Thereafter, Jones filed a motion for summary judgment. Mot. Summ. J., ECF No. 49.


         I. Motion for Leave to File ...

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