Terry v. Gary Community School Corp., No. 18-1270 (7th Cir. 2018)Annotate this Case
For 35 years, Terry worked as a teacher and an administrator for the District. After the 2013–2014 school year, the District closed the school where Terry served as the Principal because of declining enrollment and reassigned her as the Assistant Principal at another school. The District picked a male employee (Cain) over Terry for a separate promotion, although Terry had earned the highest ranking of the applicants from the interviewers. Terry filed suit, alleging sex discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-2(a)(1), and the Fourteenth Amendment (42 U.S.C. 1983); retaliation under Title VII; and unequal pay, 29 U.S.C. 206(d)(1). The Seventh Circuit affirmed summary judgment in favor of the District on Terry’s federal claims. Even assuming Terry’s change in position constituted a material adverse action, Terry did not marshal any evidence that the District had a discriminatory purpose. The chronology of events alone is not evidence that the District lied when it said it picked Cain for the promotion because of his experience working at the particular school. Timing, even combined with Terry’s positive employment history, is not enough to create a dispute of material fact as to whether the District retaliated against Terry. The difference in salary between Terry and Cain was based on the salary freeze (and not based on sex).