Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLES. UNION v. IRS

January 3, 1985

NATIONAL TREASURY EMPLOYEES UNION, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
INTERNAL REVENUE SERVICE, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 BARRINGTON D. PARKER, District Judge:

 This is an action for alleged breach of the Privacy Act, ("Act") 5 U.S.C. ยง 552a (1982), brought against the Internal Revenue Service ("IRS"). The plaintiffs are the National Treasury Employees Union ("the union") and Ronald Thomas, a former IRS employee. They seek to enjoin the IRS from maintaining and disseminating certain documents pertaining to the plaintiff Thomas. They also request monetary relief and an order reinstating Thomas to his former position.

 The matter comes before the Court on cross motions for summary judgment. Although the parties vigorously dispute each other's characterizations of the facts, the facts themselves are essentially settled either by stipulation or by mutual reference in supporting memoranda. Summary judgment is therefore appropriate. Bertrand v. International Mooring & Marine, Inc., 700 F.2d 240, 244 (5th Cir.), reh'g. denied, 710 F.2d 837 (1983), cert. denied, 464 U.S. 1069, 104 S. Ct. 974, 79 L. Ed. 2d 212 (1984).

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff Thomas was a Special Agent in a District Office of the IRS. On February 26, 1981, just a few months after Thomas received a within-grade salary increase, he was issued a notice of removal, which he immediately appealed to the Merit Systems Protection Board. Pursuant to a written settlement agreement executed by the IRS, Thomas, and the union on April 28, 1981, he resigned from the IRS on May 2, 1981, and withdrew his MSPB appeal. In return,

 
The Internal Revenue Service agrees to expunge from Mr. Thomas' official personnel folder and all other personnel files all recordations pertaining to the adverse action dated February 26, 1981, and to the incidents and conduct referred to therein.
 
The . . . IRS agrees that if asked for an employment reference concerning Mr. Thomas, except by another district or division of the Internal Revenue Service, no statements or remarks will be made regarding the above-mentioned adverse action or the incidents or conduct which were the basis for said adverse action.

 In May 1981, a prospective employer, the Marion Pepsi-Cola Bottling Company, contacted the IRS for an employment reference. This inquiry was made by mailing to the IRS a blank evaluation form, which included the following statement, subscribed by Thomas:

 
I have applied to Marion Pepsi-Cola . . . for employment and I desire that they be fully advised of my record with former employers. I hereby authorize Marion Pepsi-Cola . . . to investigate my past record and I release Marion Pepsi-Cola . . . and any other Company, Institution, or Agency from any liability arising from such investigation and verification.

 The IRS responded by grading Thomas "good" (the most favorable choice of response) in quality and quantity of work, ability to learn, and attendance, but "poor" (the lowest alternative) in cooperation and attitude, conduct, and safety habits. The IRS also responded that, given the opportunity, it would not rehire Thomas, and when asked to state Thomas' reason for leaving his employment with the IRS, wrote "See attached resignation letter." Thomas' letter reads:

 
Consider this as my formal resignation from my position with the Internal Revenue Service, Springfield District as a Special Agent/Criminal Investigator (GS-1811-13 step 03) effective close of business May 2, 1981.
 
Without enumerating the multiplicity of reasons for this resignation, and for the sake of brevity, I will merely state that since my employment with the Internal Revenue Service as of May 29, 1973, the goals, philosophies and ideologies of the Service have become so aberrated and sterilized that they are no longer consistent with my own, and I, in good conscience, find that I cannot stay affiliated with this organization. Additionnally [sic], any faith or trust that I once held for the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.