Cortezano v. Salin Bank & Trust Co., No. 11-1631 (7th Cir. 2012)Annotate this Case
In 1997 Javier unlawfully entered the U.S.; he married in 2001. In 2007 the bank hired wife. Husband, attempting to start a business, could not open a bank account without a social security number. He obtained an individual tax identification number. Wife named him a joint owner on her account and helped use his ITIN to open accounts of his own. The business failed. Husband returned to Mexico to deal with his citizenship. Wife revealed the situation to her supervisor, requesting time off to help husband obtain citizenship. The supervisor agreed and called the bank security officer, who was concerned that the accounts might implicate bank fraud laws. During a meeting, the security officer became angry and berated wife. Wife refused to attend another meeting without her attorney The bank terminated her employment and reported her activity to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and a consortium of area banks. Wife sued, claiming blacklisting, defamation, emotional distress, and employment discrimination, 42 U.S.C. 2000e. The district court granted the bank summary judgment. The Seventh Circuit affirmed, holding that any discrimination was not based on race or national origin, but on an unprotected classification, husband’s status as an alien lacking permission to be in the country.