United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
AUSTIN Stephen R. Meinertzhagen Court Appointed Attorney
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DEFAULT JUDGMENT
John Z. Lee Judge
Renita Austin, by and through her undersigned,
Court-appointed counsel, Stephen R. Meinertzhagen of Burke,
Warren, MacKay & Serritella, P.C., moves this Court for
entry of a default judgment against Defendant Ecowize North
America, LLC (“Ecowize”). In support of this
Motion, the Plaintiff states as follows:
Plaintiff brought a Complaint against her former employer,
Defendant Ecowize, alleging employment discrimination in the
form of her harassment and ultimate termination on the basis
of her race (African American) and gender (female), in
violation of Title 7 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42
U.S.C. § 1981.
July 18, 2018, this Court entered an Order of Default as to
Ecowize as a result of its failure to appear in this case
following service of process. (Dkt. 33.)
Plaintiff is entitled to an award of back pay against
Ecowize. An award of back pay is presumptively proper for a
violation of the civil rights law. David v. Caterpillar,
Inc., 324 F.3d 851, 865 (7th Cir. 2003).
Plaintiff had an annual salary of $68, 000 when Ecowize
wrongfully terminated her on January 23, 2017. She expected
her pay to increase approximately 3% per year while employed
at Ecowize. (See Affidavit of Renita Austin,
attached hereto as Ex. A, para. 8.)
After diligently seeking comparable employment, in March 2017
she was hired by the Anthem Companies, LLC
(“Anthem”), but her pay was less than it had been
at Ecowize - $23, 435.23 in 2017 and $33, 761.67 in 2018.
Based on her hourly wage of $18.14 per hour at 40 hours per
week, for 2019 she expects to have earned $18, 865.60 through
June 30, the estimated date of judgment in this case. (Austin
Aff., paras. 10-16.)
Plaintiff calculates back pay as follows:
Expected Pay at Ecowize
Actual Pay at Anthem
$18, 865.60 (projected)
Plaintiff respectfully requests the Court enter judgment
against Ecowize and award her back pay of $93, 763.17.
Prejudgment interest on back pay is presumptively available.
Shott v. Rush-Presbyterian-St. Luke's Med. Ctr.,
338 F.3d 736, 745 (7th Cir. 2003). When calculating
prejudgment interest, courts should use the prime rate.
Fritcher v. Health Care Serv. Corp., 301 F.3d 811,
820 (7th Cir. 2002). The average monthly prime rate for the
period January 2017 through May 2019 is 4.67%. See Board of
Governors, Federal Reserve System, Data Download Program,
(last visited June 12, 2019), print-out attached hereto as
Ex. B. Because Ecowize's civil rights violations occurred
no later than ...