7th Circuit Affirms Summary Judgment for Employer in Title VII and ADA Employment Discrimination and Retaliation Lawsuit

On December 8, 2020, the 7th Circuit affirmed an order of summary judgment in favor of an employer-defendant in a lawsuit filed by a social worker against the Chicago Board of Eduction alleging gender and disability discrimination, failure to accommodate, and retaliation.  Williams v. Board of Education of City of Chicago, No. 19-3152 (7th Cir. 12/8/2020).  The plaintiff alleged that the defendant failed to award him certain positions on account of his gender and disability, as well as in retaliation for his protected activity of requesting an accommodation for his disability and filing discrimination claims.

He claimed that the defendant violated the Americans with Disabilities Act ("ADA") by discriminating against him on the basis of his disability, failing to provide him with a reasonable accommodation, and retaliating against him for his accommodation request.  He alleged that the defendant violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII") by discriminating against him on the basis of his sex and retaliating against him for filing discrimination complaints.  All of his claims failed.  His various accommodation requests--a uniform start time, reduced case load, assignment to a single school, and removal of a certain school from his responsibilities--were either unreasonable, unavailable, or granted.  He did not provide sufficient evidence of discrimination or retaliation under the direct or indirect methods of proof.  The non-selection of the plaintiff for the two positions in question did not constitute materially adverse employment actions and therefore were not actionable under Title VII or the ADA because they did not involve a promotion or pay increase.