United States Court of Appeals
Employment – PDA — FMLA
Where a terminated employee claims that the human resources director told her that her termination was the result of her taking leave for a pregnancy, summary judgment was improperly granted to the employer on her discrimination claims.
“O’Gara’s alleged statements to Makowski, which are now admitted under Rule 801(d)(2)(D), provide direct evidence that pregnancy was a motivating factor in Makowski’s discharge. Although O’Gara denies having made the alleged statements, whether or not she made such admissions is a question for the jury. Furthermore, Makowski presented additional circumstantial evidence that the district court inexplicably failed to address, such as suspicious timing, behavior toward other employees in the protected group, ambiguous oral and written statements, better treatment of similarly situated employees outside the protected class, and evidence that Makowski was qualified for her job but failed to receive the desired treatment. However, even with the exclusion of the circumstantial evidence, O’Gara’s statements alone are direct evidence of a discriminatory intent. Accordingly, the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of the defendants on Makowski’s pregnancy discrimination claim is reversed.”
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Darrah, J., Young, J.