made no effort to find other work or opportunity for her. The efforts of the EEO and women's rights specialists were embarrassing and futile. The most likely promotion possibility for which plaintiff was interviewed had unmistakable sexist aspects which management should have sensed would have been repulsive and unacceptable to a person who had weathered the plaintiff's recent experience.
In addition, there was persistent government testimony, emphasized by argument of government counsel, that plaintiff somehow violated the rules and mores of government civil service when she did more work than she was supposed to do and that she compounded this error by filing a civil rights law grievance instead of entrusting her future to the civil service "merit" process. These reflections of a hostile official attitude against plaintiff's efforts to overcome what she viewed, with reason, to be discrimination corroborates the circumstantial evidence on which plaintiff's reprisal claim is based: The withdrawal of work from plaintiff on April 11, four days after she filed her civil rights law complaint.
The defense against the reprisal claim seems to be based on the conclusion of Gatrell in his desk audit of plaintiff that her duties prior to the April withdrawal and displacement justified a rating higher than GS-7, and the testimony of Barbara Prince, defendant's expert on classification, that management had the duty under Civil Service regulations to insure that an employee's duties are matched by his or her position description. Therefore, defendant contends, the manager's action, after the complaint was filed, merely executed the pre-complaint decision not to create and give plaintiff an opportunity to compete for an Executive Secretary job and was not causally connected with the complaint itself.
It is true that the desk audit showed plaintiff to have performed beyond GS-7 requirements. It is also true that Civil Service regulations offered an excuse to restrain her advancement. But it is an additional critical fact that affirmative action policy directives offered managers a strong reason to make an effort to fit her tasks to her skills by creating a higher job, instead of idling her. The managers obviously did not fully consider the affirmative action factors when they elected a civil service solution: She should continue as a secretary "as best she could." It is also true that no withdrawal of work decision was physically implemented, until after she filed the civil rights complaint. Until plaintiff filed the civil rights complaint, however, there was always the possibility that these managers (or some superior more sensitive to HEW's affirmative action responsibility) would have seen the vice of the managers' curious decision to withdraw her work and leave her idle and would have at least let execution of the decision fail by inertia. Instead, after the complaint was filed, the decision was implemented firmly and immediately. The Court concludes, from its observation of the witnesses and reflection on their testimony and its circumstances, that the managers acted finally when, and as, they did on April 11 and thereafter, instead of softening their earlier civil service solution, or trying harder to find a meaningful place for her because plaintiff filed a civil rights complaint.
* * * *
Without deciding whether plaintiff proved a claim for sex discrimination or established any legal right to recover because of defendant's failure to extend to her the benefits of his affirmative action program, the Court holds that she has proved, and defendant has not overcome, a case of reprisal. Her civil rights complaint was not frivolous. It was followed swiftly by final removal of all vestiges of her duties as Executive Secretary, and then, by no work (except with respect to the office Savings Bond Program) and by a 15 month delay before she was able to transfer to relatively meaningful work and begin to earn promotion to a professional series job.
Thus, plaintiff suffered adversely with respect to the terms, conditions and privileges of her employment coincidental with, and as a reprisal for, the filing of a civil rights complaint alleging defendant's failure to provide the opportunity to which she believed that she was entitled under the defendant's affirmative action plan. Accordingly, it is this 9th day of May 1978, hereby
ORDERED: That on or before May 19, 1978, each party shall file a proposed judgment providing relief for plaintiff. Each party may file a response to the judgment proposed by the opposing party on or before May 25, 1978, and it is
FURTHER ORDERED: That a hearing to settle the judgment is scheduled for 3:00 p.m., May 26, 1978, in Courtroom No. 4, U.S. Court House, Washington, D.C.