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MACRAE v. MCCORMICK

July 19, 1978

James R. MacRAE et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
Thomas F. McCORMICK, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: GASCH

MEMORANDUM

 
All current black employees of the Composing Division of the Government Printing Office in the metropolitan Washington, D.C. area who have applied for and have been, subsequent to March 24, 1972, or are being denied promotions, training opportunities, or transfers because of defendant's alleged discriminatory practices and policies.

 Order of November 30, 1977. Plaintiffs allege that, because of the pattern and practice of racial discrimination at the GPO, they and members of the class have been denied equal opportunity to training, transfers, and promotions. This matter having been tried to the Court on December 7-13, 1977, the Court makes the following findings of fact and conclusions of law pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 52(a).

 I. INTRODUCTION.

 The GPO provides printing services for the federal government, procures outside printing services, and engages in the sale of documents. The GPO is composed of the Documents Department, Management and Administration Department, Customer Service Department, Printing Procurement Department, Production Department, Quality Control and Technical Department. The Production Department, responsible for the internal production of documents, is divided into the Composing Division, Letterpress Division, Electronic Photocomposition Division, Offset Division, Binding Division, and Office of the Production Manager.

 The Composing Division, with which this lawsuit is concerned, employs approximately 1,400 employees and is the largest division in the Production Department. The function of this division is to transform the raw copy into printed materials. A majority of the employees in the Composing Division are involved in the production of the Congressional Record and the Federal Register. The Composing Division is divided into the Linotype, Monotype, Patents, Job, Hand, and Proof Sections.

 There are several different job classifications and pay levels within the Composing Division. Approximately 1,100 of the 1,400 Composing Division employees are journeymen. To qualify as a journeyman, an individual must have completed a GPO apprenticeship program of at least four years or equivalent training in the private industry. Such training provides an individual with a general knowledge of the composing aspect of printing and qualifies him to work as either a hand compositor, linotype operator, monotype machinist, or printer proofreader. Journeymen are paid at the basic rate of $ 10.78 per hour; however, journeymen on the night shift earn fifteen percent more per hour.

 There are presently approximately ninety-five employees above the journeyman level in supervisory and "uprate" positions. Uprate positions require greater responsibilities and therefore pay at a higher hourly rate than journeymen positions. Supervisory positions include a superintendent, two assistant superintendents, twelve foremen, and fifteen assistant foremen.

 The job categories below the journeyman level are the monotype castermen and the printing plant workers (PPWs). The monotype castermen operate the monotype casting machines, which produce pieces of lead type. The monotype castermen position is considered "sub-craft," because a monotype casterman performs only one aspect of the printing process and does not need a broad knowledge of the printing process. Monotype castermen generally receive seventy percent of the hourly rate for journeymen. Nearly all of the fifty-four monotype castermen in the Composing Division are black.

 The PPWs are semi-skilled or unskilled laborers who perform the heavy work and otherwise assist the journeymen. The PPWs are paid on a different pay scale than the craft workers. Nearly all of the 130 PPWs are black.

 The technological change that the GPO is experiencing also influences its employment policies. The Composing Division presently utilizes the "hot metal" technique for most of its production. Under the "hot metal" process, "pieces of type are cast from molten metal and set by machine or composed by hand into printable form, proofread and sent on to offset or Letter Press Division for printing." The "cold type" process, which is undergoing development, is utilized in the Electronic Photocomposition Division. Under this process, "copy is keyboarded on video consoles and electronically photo-composed by computer, without the use of metal type." Defendant's Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law # 12 at 4-5. The GPO contemplates that at the end of five years, eighty percent of production will be accomplished through the "cold type" process in the Electronic Photocomposition Division and twenty percent will be completed by the "hot metal" process in the Composing Division. The GPO estimates that, because of these technological advances, it will have to reduce its Composing Division force of 1,400 to 300 at the end of five years.

 II. ASSESSMENT OF INDIVIDUAL CLAIMS.

 A. Legal Standard.

 The Supreme Court in McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802, 93 S. Ct. 1817, 36 L. Ed. 2d 668 (1973), articulated a four-element test that may be used to establish a Prima facie case for a disparate treatment claim under Title VII. Under this test, a plaintiff must show:

 
(i) that he belongs to a racial minority; (ii) that he applied and was qualified for a job for which the employer was seeking applicants; (iii) that, despite his qualifications, he was rejected; and (iv) that, after his rejection, the position remained open and the employer continued to seek applicants from persons of complainant's qualifications.

 411 U.S. at 802, 93 S. Ct. at 1824 (footnote omitted). Satisfaction of the McDonnell Douglas test is one way of carrying the burden of showing acts by the employer from which one can infer, if a nondiscriminatory explanation is not offered, that it is more likely than not that the employer's actions were discriminatory. See Furnco Construction Corp. v. Waters, 438 U.S. 567, 98 S. Ct. 2943, 57 L. Ed. 2d 957 (1978). However, the McDonnell Douglas Court expressly recognized that compliance with the McDonnell Douglas test is not the exclusive means of establishing a Prima facie case under Title VII. 411 U.S. at 802 n.13, 93 S. Ct. 1817.

 B. Plaintiff MacRae.

 Plaintiff James Robert MacRae is presently a black journeyman printer-proofreader in the Composing Division of the GPO. Mr. MacRae has worked in the Composing Division of the GPO since 1957, when he was originally hired by the GPO as a journeyman. During his tenure in the Composing Division, Mr. MacRae received six achievement awards. Plaintiff also received top security clearance, which permitted him to proofread top secret security documents.

 In 1971, plaintiff applied for the position of Head Printer-Proofreader, an uprate position in the Composing Division. The promotion panel, in considering Mr. MacRae's application, utilized a supervisory evaluation prepared by Charles Killens, who was black. The panel rated Mr. MacRae among the five best qualified for the position at that time. However, Max Solomon, a white employee, received the position. ...


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