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Oliver v. Joint Logistics Managers, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

June 19, 2018

Anthony D. Oliver, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
Joint Logistics Managers, Inc., Defendant-Appellee.

          Argued March 27, 2018

          Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. No. 15-cv-04014 - Sara L. Darrow, Judge.

          Before Wood, Chief Judge, and Bauer and Kanne, Circuit Judges.

          KANNE, CIRCUIT JUDGE.

         Anthony Oliver sued his employer, Joint Logistics Managers, Inc., under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, alleging that it discriminated against him when it laid him off and when it hired another applicant to fill an open position. He also alleges that his employer retaliated against him after he filed a charge with the EEOC. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of Oliver's employer. Because Oliver has failed to present essential evidence in support of each of his claims, we affirm.

         I. Background

         Joint Logistics Managers, Inc. ("Joint Logistics") hired Anthony Oliver, an African-American man, as a truck driver in 2012. His employment terms were governed by a Collective Bargaining Agreement ("CBA") between Joint Logistics and the International Brotherhood of Teamsters Local Union No. 371. The CBA outlined two seniority units: (1) the Motor Vehicle Repair Employees ("repair unit"); and (2) the Motor Vehicle Operation Employees ("transportation unit"). When Joint Logistics conducted layoffs, the most junior employees within a "seniority unit" were let go first. And when Joint Logistics filled an existing position more senior employees within the "seniority unit" had hiring priority.

         Oliver's employment history with Joint Logistics is complex (and described in great detail by the district court). See Oliver v. Joint Logistics Managers, Inc., No. 15-cv-04014, 2017 WL 736873 (C.D. Ill. Feb. 24, 2017). The key events for the purpose of this appeal are the following:

• At various points during 2013-2015, Oliver was laid off from and subsequently recalled to his position in the transportation unit. Each time he was laid off, Oliver was the least senior member of the transportation unit.
• In July 2014, Oliver applied for an open mechanic position in the repair unit. Rocky Vance, a white male, also applied. Neither employee had seniority over the other.
• In August 2014, while Joint Logistics considered his application for the open mechanic position, Oliver filed a charge with the EEOC alleging discrimination and retaliation.
• In September 2014, Joint Logistics hired Vance to fill the open mechanic position.
• In late 2014 and early 2015, Joint Logistics filled other mechanic positions. Oliver did not apply for these positions.

         II. ...


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