Makowski v. SmithAmundsen LLC

662 F.3d 818 (2011)

Case BriefRelatedOptions
From our private database of 43,000+ case briefs, written and edited by humans—never with AI.

Makowski v. SmithAmundsen LLC

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit

662 F.3d 818 (2011)


Laura Makowski (plaintiff) was SmithAmundsen LLC’s (defendant) marketing director for three years, and she always received annual salary increases and quarterly discretionary merit bonuses. In late November 2007, Makowski went on maternity leave under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). In January 2008, SmithAmundsen’s all-male executive committee decided to terminate Makowski. Glen Amundsen, Makowski’s direct supervisor, told SmithAmundsen’s chief operating officer, Michael DeLargy, that people liked working with Sarah Goddard more than Makowski and that Goddard would better lead the department. DeLargy wrote in an email to SmithAmundsen’s human-resources director, Molly O’Gara, that Makowski did not fit into SmithAmundsen’s culture and directed O’Gara to discuss firing Makowski with outside counsel. In February 2008, Amundsen and DeLargy terminated Makowski while she was still on leave, stating that her position was eliminated as part of an organizational restructuring. The same day, O’Gara fired SmithAmundsen’s male information-technology (IT) director. Makowski retrieved her belongings later that day, and O’Gara met her in SmithAmundsen’s elevator lobby. O’Gara allegedly explained that Makowski was terminated because she was pregnant and took medical leave and advised Makowski to consult with an attorney because SmithAmundsen had similarly discriminated against other employees. O’Gara also said that the company initially planned to terminate the IT director for poor performance, but outside counsel advised characterizing both Makowski’s and the IT director’s terminations as organizational restructuring. O’Gara later denied making these statements. The day after Makowski’s termination, Goddard resigned and accepted a position elsewhere, and two days later, SmithAmundsen advertised a “business development and marketing manager” position. Several months later, the firm rehired Goddard for that position. Makowski sued SmithAmundsen under the Pregnancy Discrimination Act (PDA) and the FMLA. The district court granted SmithAmundsen’s summary-judgement motion, finding that O’Gara’s statements were inadmissible hearsay and that Makowski failed to prove her pregnancy-discrimination and medical-leave retaliation claims. Makowski appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Young, J.)

What to do next…

  1. Unlock this case brief with a free (no-commitment) trial membership of Quimbee.

    You’ll be in good company: Quimbee is one of the most widely used and trusted sites for law students, serving more than 687,000 law students since 2011. Some law schools—such as Yale, Berkeley, and Northwestern—even subscribe directly to Quimbee for all their law students.

    Unlock this case briefRead our student testimonials
  2. Learn more about Quimbee’s unique (and proven) approach to achieving great grades at law school.

    Quimbee is a company hell-bent on one thing: helping you get an “A” in every course you take in law school, so you can graduate at the top of your class and get a high-paying law job. We’re not just a study aid for law students; we’re the study aid for law students.

    Learn about our approachRead more about Quimbee

Here's why 687,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:

  • Written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students. 43,000 briefs, keyed to 988 casebooks. Top-notch customer support.
  • The right amount of information, includes the facts, issues, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents.
  • Access in your classes, works on your mobile and tablet. Massive library of related video lessons and high quality multiple-choice questions.
  • Easy to use, uniform format for every case brief. Written in plain English, not in legalese. Our briefs summarize and simplify; they don’t just repeat the court’s language.

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership
Here's why 687,000 law students have relied on our case briefs:
  • Reliable - written by law professors and practitioners, not other law students
  • The right length and amount of information - includes the facts, issue, rule of law, holding and reasoning, and any concurrences and dissents
  • Access in your class - works on your mobile and tablet
  • 43,000 briefs - keyed to 988 casebooks
  • Uniform format for every case brief
  • Written in plain English - not in legalese and not just repeating the court's language
  • Massive library of related video lessons - and practice questions
  • Top-notch customer support

Access this case brief for FREE

With a 7-day free trial membership