657 F.3d 595 (7th Cir. 2011), 10-3381, Dickerson v. Board of Trustees of Community College Dist. No. 522

Docket Nº:10-3381.
Citation:657 F.3d 595
Opinion Judge:WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge.
Party Name:Robert E. DICKERSON, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT NO. 522, Counties of St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, Washington, Bond, Perry and Montgomery and State of Illinois, Defendant-Appellee.
Attorney:Edward J. Szewczyk (argued), Attorney, Callis, Papa, Jackstadt & Halloran, Granite City, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant. Garrett P. Hoerner (argued), Attorney, Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson, Belleville, IL, for Defendants-Appellees.
Judge Panel:Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and BAUER and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.
Case Date:September 16, 2011
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
 
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Page 595

657 F.3d 595 (7th Cir. 2011)

Robert E. DICKERSON, Plaintiff-Appellant,

v.

BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT NO. 522, Counties of St. Clair, Madison, Monroe, Randolph, Washington, Bond, Perry and Montgomery and State of Illinois, Defendant-Appellee.

No. 10-3381.

United States Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit.

September 16, 2011

Argued June 7, 2011.

Rehearing Denied Oct. 18, 2011.

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[Copyrighted Material Omitted]

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Edward J. Szewczyk (argued), Attorney, Callis, Papa, Jackstadt & Halloran, Granite City, IL, for Plaintiff-Appellant.

Garrett P. Hoerner (argued), Attorney, Becker, Paulson, Hoerner & Thompson, Belleville, IL, for Defendants-Appellees.

Before EASTERBROOK, Chief Judge, and BAUER and WILLIAMS, Circuit Judges.

WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge.

Robert Dickerson is a part-time janitorial custodian for a community college in Illinois and suffers from a mental disability. He brought this suit against his employer, alleging that he was discriminated against because of his disability in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

In August of 2007 Dickerson was a part-time janitor. He applied for full-time positions and was rejected. The school evaluated Dickerson's job performance in

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December of 2007. He was rated " Unsatisfactory" in three of seven categories. On February 7, 2008, Dickerson filed a discrimination charge against the school with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), stating that the school's failure to hire him for a full-time position was an act of unlawful discrimination.

On July 17, 2008, the school evaluated Dickerson's job performance again and decided to fire him. Dickerson filed another charge of discrimination with the EEOC, and added a retaliation claim. Later, he sued the school in federal district court, and a summary judgment motion was granted in favor of the school. Dickerson appealed.

We find that the district court was correct in granting summary judgment for the school on Dickerson's discrimination claim because the evidence in the record is insufficient to show that Dickerson was meeting his employer's legitimate employment expectations. His retaliation claim also fails because he did not point to sufficient evidence that he was performing his job satisfactorily. Therefore, we affirm.

I. BACKGROUND

Because the defendant-appellee 1 prevailed on summary judgment, we will recount the pertinent facts in the light most favorable to the plaintiff-appellant, Robert Dickerson. According to Dickerson's psychological report that was prepared for this litigation, Dickerson is mildly mentally impaired. He has a WAIS-III Full Scale IQ of 67 (which " falls in the range of mild mental retardation" ), took special education classes in high school, and has difficulty acquiring, retaining, and processing information. Although he is disqualified from certain categories of jobs and professions because of his mental disability, in 1999 he secured a position as a part-time janitor for Belleville Area Community College District 522 (District 522). With three exceptions, Dickerson's part-time tenure proceeded without recorded incident. In December of 2005, Dickerson filed a union grievance against a supervisor who issued a warning claiming that Dickerson refused to perform a work assignment. In July of 2006, Dickerson received a warning for failing to secure job-related equipment, resulting in District 522's financial loss of $459.00 to replace the equipment. And in April of 2007, Dickerson received a warning for leaving his work site without first obtaining his supervisor's permission. Dickerson applied for full-time janitor positions at District 522 in 2005 and 2006. He was not hired for the positions. In August of 2007, Dickerson again applied for full-time janitor positions with his employer school. He was not hired for any of the positions. One successful part-time applicant was told that if he wanted to be elevated to a full-time position, he should " stay away from Bobby Dickerson."

On October 17, 2007, Dickerson attended a meeting of District 522's Board of Directors and complained that he was being discriminated against because of his personal traits and a speech defect. Later he met with District 522's attorney and repeated his belief that he was being discriminated against.

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On December 18, 2007, District 522 performed a written evaluation of Dickerson's work performance from November 2, 2006 to November 3, 2007. It was the first formal evaluation performed on Dickerson, and was made pursuant to a 2006 policy change by District 522 that mandated written evaluations for part-time employees. The evaluation was completed by Kenny Deffenbaugh, Assistant Director of the Physical Plant, who was Dickerson's direct supervisor, and the evaluation timeframe corresponded with Dickerson's employment anniversary, which was November 3, 1999. The evaluation form had seven categories. In each category there were five possible ratings: Outstanding, Very Good, Good, Satisfactory, and Unsatisfactory. Dickerson was rated as Satisfactory in " Attendance & Punctuality," " Quality of Work," " Knowledge of the Work" and " Attitude." In these categories, Deffenbaugh noted that Dickerson " is consistently late for work and needs to improve" ; some " jobs need to be redone because of not listening to the job instructions" ; and Dickerson " does only the bare minimum to meet job requirements." Dickerson was rated " Unsatisfactory" in the categories of " Quantity of Work," " Responsibility," and " Relationships With People." In these areas, Deffenbaugh noted that Dickerson "...

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