United States District Court, W.D. Wisconsin
OPINION AND ORDER
D. PETERSON DISTRICT JUDGE.
Timothy Blumentritt used to work as a case manager for
defendant Mayo Clinic Health System-Franciscan Healthcare,
Inc. Blumentritt alleges that Mayo Clinic fired him because
of his sex, sexual orientation, and HIV and Hepatitis C
diagnoses, and in retaliation for a complaint he filed about
sexual orientation discrimination. Blumentritt brings claims
under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C.
§§ 2000e-2(a) and 2000e-3(a), and the Americans
with Disabilities Act, 42 U.S.C. § 12112(a). Mayo Clinic
has filed a motion for summary judgment, Dkt. 27, which is
now briefed and ready for decision.
court will grant the motion. Blumentritt concedes that he
does not have the evidence to support a claim under the
Americans with Disabilities Act. As for the Title VII claims,
the undisputed facts show that Mayo Clinic disciplined and
ultimately fired Blumentritt for his chronic inability to
complete patient charts. No. reasonable jury could find that
this reason was pretextual, or that Blumentritt's
supervisors were motivated by a discriminatory intent. And
Blumentritt has not adduced any evidence that the supervisors
who fired him were aware of his alleged discrimination
complaint, let alone retaliated against him for it.
court's assessment of the facts of this case is
complicated by Blumentritt's failure to comply with the
court's summary judgment procedures. Blumentritt purports
to dispute some of the facts proposed by Mayo Clinic, Dkt.
36, but Blumentritt commonly failed to either state his
version of the fact or cite evidence that supported his
version, as the court's procedures require. Dkt. 13, at
10-11. (“If you dispute a proposed fact, state your
version of the fact and cite to evidence that supports that
version.”). Instead, he simply asserted that a fact was
“disputed” and cited generally to his affidavit,
his own proposed findings of fact, or his brief, without
pinpointing any evidence that would actually raise a dispute.
The court's procedures require more. Id. at 11
(“The court will not search the record for evidence.
Supporting evidence should be clearly cited and
submitted.”) Mayo Clinic's reply document, Dkt. 40,
lays out the deficiencies in Blumentritt's
responses. The court will deem Mayo Clinic's
proposed findings of fact to be undisputed. Id. at
10 (“The court will conclude that a proposed fact is
undisputed unless the responding party explicitly disputes it
and either identifies contradictory evidence in the record,
or demonstrates that the proponent of the fact does not have
admissible evidence to support it.”).
court has reviewed the documents submitted by Blumentritt,
and the court is persuaded that even if the court scoured the
record, Blumentritt has failed to adduce evidence that would
raise a genuine dispute as to the facts that are material to
Mayo Clinic's motion.
following facts are undisputed, except where noted.
is a gay man. He started working for Mayo Clinic in 1990 as a
case manager, coordinating mental health services for
patients. As part of his duties, he was responsible for
filling out admission and discharge papers, patient treatment
plans, and other documents that went into patient charts.
2005, Blumentritt was promoted to a supervisor position, in
which he oversaw other case managers and staff at several of
Mayo Clinic's inpatient and outpatient facilities. While
in the position as supervisor, Blumentritt reported to Bob
Hillary, the director of behavioral health services, and
Julie Conway, the department manager.
Blumentritt was a supervisor, Conway made several comments to
him related to his sexual orientation. During meetings, she
would regularly note whether other employees were also gay.
She did not make similar comments about heterosexual
employees. At one time, she announced in Blumentritt's
presence, “I wonder if my son is gay. He's artistic
and he's sensitive. Well, if he was, I guess I would have
no choice but to deal with it.” Dkt. 41, ¶ 33.
unspecified time,  Julie Blakeman, an employee whom
Blumentritt supervised, told him that she found out he was
gay. She told him “Anyway, I'm sorry about it. I
wanted to let you know I know you're gay. I'm ok with
it (pause), but my religion isn't.” Dkt. 41, ¶
37. The next day, Blumentritt reported the incident to
Hillary and Conway. But neither Hillary nor Conway spoke with
Blakeman about the comments.
several years, Blumentritt did well in the supervisor
position. Through 2010, he received positive performance
reviews from Hillary. But Hillary also noted that Blumentritt
did not keep patient charts up to date. Up-to-date charts are
important not only to maintain the quality of patient care,
but also to comply with licensing requirements and state
regulations. Hillary told Blumentritt that this was an area
where he needed to improve, but he did not discipline
Blumentritt for it.
2010, for unexplained reasons, Blumentritt became overwhelmed
with his responsibilities as supervisor. He returned to a
case manager position, and Gretchen Scharringhausen replaced
him as supervisor. As a case manager, Blumentritt reported to
Scharringhausen and Conway rather than Hillary. Blumentritt
retained some of the duties that he had been assigned as
supervisor, such as his role as a Mayo Clinic representative
in several community organizations. These extra duties meant
that he had more responsibilities than other employees in his
no longer a supervisor, Blumentritt continued to have issues
keeping up with patient documentation. An audit in November
2011 revealed that Blumentritt had about 40 incomplete
patient charts. This was a serious problem for Mayo Clinic,
because if Blumentritt did not complete all of his
documentation by mid-January, the clinic would be in
violation of state regulations. Conway and Scharringhausen
met with Blumentritt on December 5, and Blumentritt signed a
“coaching form, ” in which he agreed to complete
one or two charts every day until he was caught up. Dkt.
32-1. But Blumentritt did not keep this pace. On February 9,
he still had about 15 charts that were incomplete
and Scharringhausen placed Blumentritt on “formal
performance counseling” until he finished updating his
patient's charts. By March 6, Blumentritt was all caught
up and was taken off of performance counseling. At his next
performance review, on June 25, Scharringhausen gave
Blumentritt positive feedback for fixing his documentation
November 2012, Conway and Scharringhausen learned that a
staff member was preparing insulin for a mental health
patient, in violation of Mayo Clinic's policy. And when
they investigated the incident, they discovered that the
patient's chart-which Blumentritt was responsible for-was
missing progress notes from the relevant time period. They
also learned that Blumentritt was aware of the staff
member's conduct but did not intervene or report the
conduct to Conway and Scharringhausen.
this incident, Conway and Scharringhausen placed Blumentritt
back on performance counseling and gave him an improvement
plan. Along with his ordinary duties, the plan required
1) write a document explaining the clinic's chain of
command and submit it by November 9;
2) meet with Scharringhausen to clarify his roles and
responsibilities by November 16 and submit a written summary
of his roles and responsibilities by November 21; and
3) review the “five safe behaviors” and write a
document explaining how they could have been applied to the
insulin incident by November 23;
Dkt. 31-3, at 2. Conway and Scharringhausen warned
Blumentritt that any failure to complete documentation
according to Mayo Clinic's policies, or failure to adhere
to the plan's timeline, would result in discharge.
completed the first step without difficulty, but Blumentritt
and Scharringhausen were unable to meet for the second step
until November 27. By that point, the deadlines for the
second and third steps of the plan had already passed. So
they scheduled a meeting for November 30, during which (1)
Blumentritt would hand in the written summary of his roles