175 F.3d 1019 (7th Cir. 1999), 98-3276, Green v. Illinois Power Co.

Docket Nº:98-3276.
Citation:175 F.3d 1019
Party Name:Charles L GREEN, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. ILLINOIS POWER COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.
Case Date:April 26, 1999
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

Page 1019

175 F.3d 1019 (7th Cir. 1999)

Charles L GREEN, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

ILLINOIS POWER COMPANY, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 98-3276.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit

April 26, 1999

Submitted April 21, 1999 [*]

Editorial Note:

This opinion appears in the Federal reporter in a table titled "Table of Decisions Without Reported Opinions". (See FI CTA7 Rule 53 regarding use of unpublished opinions)

Rehearing and Suggestion for Rehearing En Banc Denied June 11, 1999.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Central District of Illinois. No. 97-CV-2148. David G. Bernthal, Magistrate Judge.

Before Hon. JOHN L. COFFEY, Hon. ILANA D. ROVNER, Hon. TERENCE T. EVANS, Circuit Judges.

ORDER

Charles Green appeals from the district court's grant of summary judgment to Illinois Power Company (IP) on his claims of employment discrimination on the basis of race. On appeal, Green raises seventeen issues that can be grouped into the following arguments: 1) the district court abused its discretion by strictly applying Central District of Illinois Local Rule 7.1 to a pro se litigant and by not considering the evidence he submitted in his opposition to IP's motion for summary judgment; 2) the district court erred in finding that his claim arising from being denied paid leave was time-barred; 3) the district court erred in concluding that he had not met his burden of showing that IP's reasons for its employment decisions were pretextual; and 4) the district court abused its discretion by not granting his motion for additional time to respond to IP's motion for summary judgment. We affirm.

I.

IP provides gas and electrical service throughout central and southern Illinois and employs union members whose positions are governed by collective bargaining agreements with their respective local unions. In 1991, IP hired Green, who is black, as an electrician. Green belongs to the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers (IBEW) Local 51 which has a collective bargaining agreement with IP governing the Danville, Illinois service area. Green worked as one of two journeyman substation electricians in Danville, and, until late 1995, Rod Hilburn was his supervisor.

In March 1996, Green applied for a vacant substation electronic technician position in IP's Belleville service area, which is governed by a collective bargaining agreement with IBEW Local 309/702. IP's agreement with IBEW Local 309/702 required that the Belleville position be filled with the most senior, qualified member of Local 309/702, and only if no qualified member of Local 309/702 applied for the position could it be given to a non-member. A white, qualified member of Local 309/702 did apply and was given the Belleville position. In July 1996, Green applied for vacant shift technician positions at IP's Baldwin and Wood River coal-fired power plants. IP managers at Baldwin quickly eliminated Green and two white candidates from consideration because of excessive absenteeism. Green had missed over 32 days of work, in addition to vacation time off, during the previous two years. Both of the excluded white candidates had better attendance records than Green. The Wood River managers refused to interview Green, not only because of absenteeism, but also because he lacked previous work experience in a coal-fired industrial power plant. Eventually, all the shift technician positions were filled by white candidates.

In January 1997, Green filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging that IP had denied him paid leaves of absences and promotions due to his race. The EEOC issued a right-to-sue letter to Green in June 1997. In July, Green filed suit in district court against IP and its parent company, Illinova Corp., alleging disparate treatment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § § 2000e-2 and 2000e-5. 1 Specifically, Green alleged that he was denied an electronic technician and shift technician positions due to his race and that Hilburn, his former supervisor, treated him less favorably than his fellow white substation electrician in granting paid leaves of absences. In May, the district court granted Illinova's motion for summary judgment, and Green does not appeal that order. Two months later, IP filed a...

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