Anthony Hill v. Martha Johnson, No. 12-3447 (7th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Hill, an African American, began working for the General Services Administration in 2008 through the Federal Career Intern Program. Realizing that his Master’s degree entitled him to a higher pay rate, he filed a complaint with the EEOC. The parties settled. Hill maintains that he acted professionally during his one-year probationary period. His coworkers complained to supervisors about Hill’s temper on three occasions. A supervisor told Hill that his “stomping around” and slamming doors could be seen as threatening because he was a “pretty big guy,” which Hill took as a coded racial reference. After his probation, Hill was fired, based on those three incidents. Hill sued under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e to 2000e-17, for race discrimination, gender discrimination, and retaliation for filing an EEOC complaint. The district court granted summary judgment to GSA, stating that Hill was not meeting legitimate expectations because he had engaged in a pattern of behavior that led three different coworkers to report him to their supervisors, and that a white female intern was not a suitable comparator because only one coworker had ever complained about her behavior, nor had Hill established pretext. The Seventh Circuit affirmed.