United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
D. Leinenweber, United States District Judge.
reasons stated herein, Defendants' Motion to Dismiss
(Dkt. No. 35) is denied.
case concerns alleged gender-based employment discrimination
and retaliation. Plaintiff Stephanie Hannon
(“Hannon”) is a resident of Lake County,
Illinois. Defendant City of Prospect Heights (“the
City”) is an Illinois municipal corporation located in
Cook County, Illinois. Defendant Scott Williamson
(“Williamson”) is a resident of Prospect Heights,
and for all times relevant to this lawsuit, has served as an
Alderman for the City. Defendant Joe Wade
(“Wade”) is a resident of Glenview, Illinois, and
has served as the City Administrator for the City since 2015.
December 2011, the City hired Hannon as its Finance Director,
a part-time position. The City permitted Hannon to hold other
part-time positions in other municipalities while working for
the City; accordingly, beginning in 2014, Hannon also began
working part-time as the Finance Director for the Village of
Fox Lake, Illinois.
alleges that at some point in the course of her employment
with the City, Williamson and Wade began to take steps to
“freeze out” Hannon from her work in the
City's government. Hannon alleges that the Defendants
discriminated against her because of her gender in various
ways, including: scheduling staff meetings at times they knew
Hannon could not attend; not giving Hannon adequate notice of
staff meetings; requiring Hannon to have her City Council
presentations reviewed in advance by outside auditors; and
generally holding Hannon to a different standard than her
male counterparts. Additionally, Hannon alleges that
Defendants retaliated against her for her whistleblowing
activities (internal complaints about the City's contract
attorney improperly inflating invoices) and her political
affiliation (Hannon supported the City's Mayor, Nicholas
Helmer, who was allegedly Williamson's rival).
charges that Defendants took a series of retaliatory and
discriminatory adverse employment actions against her,
beginning in July 2016. Williamson and Wade apparently sought
to reduce her pay while increasing her required hours in the
office. Hannon alleges that Williamson and Wade told her that
if she would not accept full time employment with the City,
they would terminate her. On July 25, 2016, the City Council
changed Hannon's job classification from part-time hourly
to full-time salaried-a move Hannon alleges the City took to
force her to give up her part-time work in Fox Lake. By May
2017, Defendants posted a job advertisement for Hannon's
position. On June 5, 2017, Defendants terminated Hannon's
brings eight counts: (1) gender discrimination in violation
of the Equal Protection Clause and 42 U.S.C. § 1983,
against all Defendants; (2) gender discrimination in
violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964,
against the City; (3) retaliation in violation of the Equal
Protection Clause and 42 U.S.C. § 1983, against all
Defendants; (4) retaliation in violation of Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the City; (5) retaliation
in violation of the Illinois Human Rights Act, against the
City; (6) political retaliation against constitutionally
protected speech in violation of the First Amendment, against
all Defendants; (7) violation of the Illinois
Whistleblower's Act, against the City; and (8) common law
retaliatory discharge, against the City.
now move under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6) to
dismiss Counts II and V as untimely and Count VI as failing
to state a claim. The Court will analyze each count in turn.
motion under Rule 12(b)(6) challenges the sufficiency of a
complaint to state a claim upon which relief may be granted.
Hallinan v. Fraternal Order of Police of Chicago Lodge
No. 7, 570 F.3d 811, 820 (7th Cir. 2009). To survive a
motion to dismiss, a complaint “must contain sufficient
factual matter, accepted as true, to state a claim to relief
that is plausible on its face.” Ashcroft v.
Iqbal, 556 U.S. 662, 678 (2009) (internal quotation
marks and citation omitted). A claim has facial plausibility
when the plaintiff “pleads factual content that allows
the court to draw the reasonable inference that the defendant
is liable for the misconduct alleged.” Id.
Threadbare recitals of the elements of a cause of action, or
“mere conclusory statements, ” do not suffice to
state a claim. Id.
Count II: Title VII Gender Discrimination
II asserts that the City discriminated against Hannon on the
basis of her gender, in violation of Title VII of the Civil
Rights Act of 1964. Title VII forbids employment
discrimination based on “race, color, religion, sex, or
national origin.” 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a).
Defendants assert that Count II should be dismissed because
Hannon failed to bring this claim ...