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Ray v. Catalent Pharma Solutions

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

September 30, 2019




         Plaintiff Logan Ray, who is proceeding pro se, worked for Catalent Pharma Solutions (“Catalent”) in Bloomington, Indiana for just over two years before voluntarily resigning in October 2018. Mr. Ray then initiated this litigation against his former employer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, and the Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”), claiming that he had been demoted and denied access to training and a promotion based on his Christian beliefs and an alleged disability. The disability claim was dismissed for failure to state a claim upon which relief may be granted, and Catalent has now filed a Motion for Summary Judgment with respect to his remaining religious discrimination claims. [Filing No. 26.] That motion is now ripe for the Court’s decision.


         Standard of Review

         A motion for summary judgment asks the Court to find that a trial is unnecessary because there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(a). As the current version of Rule 56 makes clear, whether a party asserts that a fact is undisputed or genuinely disputed, the party must support the asserted fact by citing to particular parts of the record, including depositions, documents, or affidavits. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(A). A party can also support a fact by showing that the materials cited do not establish the absence or presence of a genuine dispute or that the adverse party cannot produce admissible evidence to support the fact. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(1)(B). Failure to properly support a fact in opposition to a movant’s factual assertion can result in the movant’s fact being considered undisputed, and potentially in the granting of summary judgment. Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(e).

         In deciding a motion for summary judgment, the Court need only consider disputed facts that are material to the decision. A disputed fact is material if it might affect the outcome of the suit under the governing law. Hampton v. Ford Motor Co., 561 F.3d 709, 713 (7th Cir. 2009). In other words, while there may be facts that are in dispute, summary judgment is appropriate if those facts are not outcome determinative. Harper v. Vigilant Ins. Co., 433 F.3d 521, 525 (7th Cir. 2005). Fact disputes that are irrelevant to the legal question will not be considered. Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986).

         On summary judgment, a party must show the Court what evidence it has that would convince a trier of fact to accept its version of the events. Johnson v. Cambridge Indus., 325 F.3d 892, 901 (7th Cir. 2003). The moving party is entitled to summary judgment if no reasonable fact-finder could return a verdict for the non-moving party. Nelson v. Miller, 570 F.3d 868, 875 (7th Cir. 2009). The Court views the record in the light most favorable to the non-moving party and draws all reasonable inferences in that party’s favor. Darst v. Interstate Brands Corp., 512 F.3d 903, 907 (7th Cir. 2008). It cannot weigh evidence or make credibility determinations on summary judgment because those tasks are left to the fact-finder. O’Leary v. Accretive Health, Inc., 657 F.3d 625, 630 (7th Cir. 2011). The Court need only consider the cited materials, Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(c)(3), and the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals has “repeatedly assured the district courts that they are not required to scour every inch of the record for evidence that is potentially relevant to the summary judgment motion before them.” Johnson, 325 F.3d at 898. Any doubt as to the existence of a genuine issue for trial is resolved against the moving party. Ponsetti v. GE Pension Plan, 614 F.3d 684, 691 (7th Cir. 2010).


         Statement of Facts

         The following factual background is set forth pursuant to the standards detailed above. The facts stated are not necessarily objectively true, but as the summary judgment standard requires, the undisputed facts and the disputed evidence are presented in the light most favorable to “the party against whom the motion under consideration is made.” Premcor USA, Inc. v. American Home Assurance Co., 400 F.3d 523, 526-27 (7th Cir. 2005).

         A. Mr. Ray’s Position with Catalent

         Mr. Ray was hired by Catalent, a pharmaceutical company, in August 2016 with the official title of Associate, Manufacturing Drug Product. [Filing No. 27-1 at 8-9; Filing No. 27-2 at 2.] Soon after he began his employment, Catalent underwent restructuring in its Bloomington facility. [Filing No. 27-1 at 12.] As part of the restructuring, the former position of Associate, Manufacturing Drug Product was split into three different positions: Manufacturing Operator, Manu facturing Associate, and Senior Manufacturing Associate. [Filing N o. 2 7-3 at 2.] Employees formerly designated as Associate, Manufacturing Drug Product were placed into one of these three new positions based on the amount of experience they had in the pharmaceutical industry. [Filing No. 27-3 at 2.]

         Because Mr. Ray had fewer than three years’ experience, he was given the title of Manufacturing Operator. [Filing No. 27-3 at 3-4.] However, Mr. Ray’s responsibilities, benefits, hours, pay, and shift stayed the same. [Filing No. 27-3 at 3.] Twenty-four other employees also had their titles changed from Associate, Manufacturing Drug Product to Manufacturing Operator. [Filing No. 27-3 at 3.] Of the twenty-four others, Mr. Ray had the fewest years of experience in the industry. [Filing No. 27-3 at 3.]

         After the title change, Mr. Ray continued to work in a “clean room” – or a room secured to prevent contamination of the manufacturing machines. [Filing No. 27-1 at 9.] Mr. Ray specifically worked in a “filling” clean room and operated machines that filled vials and syringes. [Filing No. 27-1 at 9.] While at Catalent, Mr. Ray received two annual reviews that evaluated his performance in different categories on a scale of unsatisfactory, fair, good, very good, and excellent. [Filing No. 27-2 at 3.] In his first annual review in April 2017, Mr. Ray received a “fair” rating in two of the categories, “initiative/motivation/dependability” and “communications/interpersonal skills, ” and “good” ratings in the remaining nine categories. [Filing No. 27-2 at 3.] In May 2018, in Mr. Ray’s second and final annual review, he received “fair” ratings in the same two categories, but also received “very good” ratings in the categories of “cooperation/attitude” and “ethics and compliance.” [Filing No. 27-2 at 3.] He received a rating of “good” in ...

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