Janada Garner v. Executive Management Services, et al
Filed Nonprecedential Disposition PER CURIAM. AFFIRMED. Frank H. Easterbrook, Circuit Judge; Ann Claire Williams, Circuit Judge and David F. Hamilton, Circuit Judge. [6811353-1]  [16-3124]
To be cited only in accordance with Fed. R. App. P. 32.1
United States Court of Appeals
For the Seventh Circuit
Chicago, Illinois 60604
Submitted January 11, 2017*
Decided January 13, 2017
FRANK H. EASTERBROOK, Circuit Judge
ANN CLAIRE WILLIAMS, Circuit Judge
DAVID F. HAMILTON, Circuit Judge
EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT SERVICES,
INC., and STANLEY MILLS,
Appeal from the United States District
Court for the Southern District of Indiana,
Tanya Walton Pratt,
O R D E R
Janada Garner appeals the district court’s grant of summary judgment to her
former employer, Executive Management Services, Inc., in her Title VII action. In the
district court, she asserted that EMS subjected her to a hostile work environment and
discharged her in retaliation for both filing a charge with the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission and complaining to human resources about her supervisors.
* We have unanimously agreed to decide the case without oral argument because
the briefs and record adequately present the facts and legal arguments, and oral
argument would not significantly aid the court. FED. R. APP. P. 34(a)(2)(C).
The district court concluded that a factfinder reasonably could not find that Garner
experienced a hostile work environment because she had not been subjected to severe
or pervasive harassment. The district court also decided that her retaliation claim did
not raise a fact question because complaining about her supervisors does not constitute
protected activity under Title VII and because the record did not contain a sufficient
causal connection between Garner’s EEOC charge and her discharge.1
Garner’s brief on appeal nearly fails the requirement that appellants’ arguments
be supported with reasons. FED. R. APP. P. 28(a)(8)(A). But generously construing her
pro se brief, we discern one issue for review—whether the district court erred in
determining that the temporal proximity between her EEOC charge (April 2013) and
termination (November 2013) was not a sufficient causal connection for her retaliation
claim to survive summary judgment. Garner now asserts that she was fired in mid‐
March 2013 rather than November 2013, but this revised timeline (which she does not
support with any material evidence) makes little sense because she attributes her
discharge to her filing of a later EEOC charge. Garner also asserts for the first time that
she was fired for filing a police report against a coworker in early March 2013. But she
waived this argument by not developing it during proceedings in the district court.
See United States v. Hook, 471 F.3d 766, 775 (7th Cir. 2006).
Finally, Garner claims for the first time that EMS violated her First Amendment
rights by suspending her because she contacted an EMS customer. Not only did she
waive this claim by raising it for the first time on appeal, see C & N Corp. v. Gregory Kane
& Ill. River Winery, Inc., 756 F.3d 1024, 1026–27 (7th Cir. 2014), but she cannot sue a
private party for abridging free speech unless it engaged in joint action with a state
official under color of law, which she has not established. See Edmonson v. Leesville
Concrete Co., 500 U.S. 614, 619 (1991); Dennis v. Sparks, 449 U.S. 24, 27–28 (1980).
1 Garner also claimed that Stanley Mills, an EMS employee, defamed her, but the
court granted Mills summary judgment, which Garner does not appeal.
Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.
Why Is My Information Online?