September 12, 2017
from the United States District Court for the Northern
District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 13 C 8913 -
Thomas M. Durkin, Judge.
Bauer, Easterbrook, and Kanne, Circuit Judges.
Milligan alleges that Morgan Stanley Smith Barney
("Morgan Stanley") fired her on the basis of her
sex and that it allowed her coworkers to create a hostile
work environment. Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act
prohibits both. The district court granted summary judgment
in Morgan Stanley's favor, finding that Morgan Stanley
dismissed Milligan for her performance and that the conduct
she alleged did not create a hostile work environment.
Milligan now appeals. We affirm.
appeal challenges the district court's grant of summary
judgment in favor of Morgan Stanley. Thus, the following
facts are either undisputed or disputed but taken in the
light most favorable to Milligan. See Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242(1986).
joined Morgan Stanley as a sales associate in 2001. In 2005,
after a series of promotions, she partnered with a senior
financial advisor, John Mitchell, on a number of client
accounts. This partnership continued until Morgan Stanley
fired Milligan in 2012.
her deposition, Milligan testified that she was mistreated
throughout her career at Morgan Stanley. Broadly, her
allegations describe two periods of abuse. The first period
extended from about 2003 to 2009, though Milligan's
testimony on the duration was unspecific and conflicting.
Milligan alleges that coworkers, including a financial
advisor named David Brendza, harassed, unduly criticized, and
made sexual advances towards her during this period. Milligan
never reported this alleged harassment to management.
second period began in 2011-when Mitchell started to
regularly comment to Milligan about the revealing outfits of
a CNBC anchor-and continued until Morgan Stanley fired
Milligan the following year. During this second period,
Milligan married. Though Milligan never revealed if she had
pregnancy plans, Mitchell frequently questioned her on the
topic. Ultimately, he asked that Milligan plan her pregnancy
to accommodate his work schedule.
during this second period, Mitchell began to plan for
retirement and spent more time out of the office. Management
encouraged him and Milligan to bring in other advisors to
help them service their book of business. After Mitchell and
Milligan rejected a number of potential partners, management
encouraged them to work with Brendza on their accounts.
Milligan, however, had no interest in partnering with him.
Nevertheless, Milligan and Mitchell discussed Brendza at
various points in 2011 and 2012. Milligan's immediate
supervisor, Troy Mooyoung, and the manager of the Chicago
branch, Mark Evans, occasionally joined these conversations.
And, on September 19, 2012, Brendza joined Milligan and
Mitchell in a client meeting in which he told the client that
Milligan planned to start a family. Milligan never reported
harassment from this second period either.
The fraudulent wire transfer and later investigation
in 2012, Milligan processed a fraudulent wire transfer
request that led to an investigation. That summer, Milligan
received a series of emails-signed by a longtime client and
her husband-requesting that Milligan transfer $36, 900 to an
account she wasn't familiar with. After a person who
Milligan recognized as the client's husband called to
confirm the transaction, Milligan transferred the funds.
August 10, the client contacted Milligan to inform her that
she had been the victim of identity theft and had not
authorized the transaction. Over the next few weeks, Evans
investigated the way that Milligan handled the request. He
spoke with Milligan, Mooyoung, fraud prevention and
compliance officers, and in-house counsel. He also studied
emails and notes related to the transfer. Finally, he
reviewed Milli-gan's past disciplinary violations: a
suspension for signing a client's name to a letter of
authorization and a letter of education for adding
information to a form that had already been signed by a
Milligan's dismissal and the lawsuit
September 24 -over a month after Evans began his
investigation into Milligan's handling of the fraudulent
wire request and five days after Brendza had ...