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FUDD v. SECRETARY OF THE TREASURY

February 17, 1986

James R. Fudd, Plaintiff,
v.
Secretary of the Treasury, Defendant


Louis F. Oberdorfer, United States District Judge.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: OBERDORFER

LOUIS F. OBERDORFER, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

 Plaintiff, James R. Fudd, is a journeyman plate printer at the Bureau of Engraving and Printing. He brings this action against the Bureau under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e et seq., alleging that he was illegally denied promotion to the position of Acting Plate Printer Foreman in 1984 because of his race and because of his opposition to perceived past race discrimination within the Bureau, particularly with respect to such promotions. This case proceeded to trial by the Court on November 25, 1985, and continued for two days. The parties have now filed proposed findings of fact and conclusions of law, and replies to the other party's proposals. Defendant's Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (DPFF and DPCL) (filed Jan. 13, 1986) are attached hereto and made a part hereof. Portions of Plaintiff's Proposed Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law (PPFF and PPCL) (filed Jan. 13, 1986) are incorporated by reference into this Memorandum.

 I.

 The solicitation and promotion process at issue began in late 1983 when Robert Heygster, superintendent of the Bureau Plate Printing Division in which plaintiff is employed, decided that additional Acting Plate Printer Foremen should be hired. DPFF at para. 6. The positions were advertised under Vacancy Announcement PP84-1 on January 16, 1984. DPFF at para. 8. Heygster had originally considered using an assessment center to evaluate candidates. Such a system would have the advantage of allowing persons outside the division to evaluate the candidates. DPFF at para. 10. The Personnel Staffing Division informed Heygster that the assessment center system would be costly and take a long time to implement. Heygster thus decided to use a selection system consisting of a crediting plan and rating panel, a system frequently employed by the Bureau in promotion decisions. DPFF at para. 10.

 Heygster himself designed the crediting plan. The plan included four basic criteria, which were: (1) the ability to operate equipment; (2) the ability to supervise operations and personnel; (3) ability as a technical expert in plate printing, including knowledge of materials; and (4) experience in setting up new jobs and making necessary changes to complete work assignments. DPFF at para. 13. The plan provided for levels of qualifications within each criterion with point ranges assigned to each level of ability. PPFF at para. 38.

 The PP84-1 application had three parts: (1) the applicant's standard Personal Qualifications Statement; (2) a Supplemental Experience Statement completed by the applicant; and (3) a Supervisory Appraisal Form completed by the applicant's current foreman. PPFF at para. 31. The Supervisory Appraisal Form asked each supervisor to rate each candidate in each of the four categories on a scale of 1 to 5. Twenty-nine candidates applied for the position, four of whom were black. DPFF at para. 66.

 Heygster also selected the ranking panel. He chose Jerry Hudson, Willy Barnes and Lawrence Luckel, all Plate Printer Foremen and each on one of the three plate printer shifts. Hudson and Luckel are white and Barnes is black. DPFF at para. 17. Heygster met with the panel and said that he wanted no information regarding their deliberations, but only a Certificate of Eligibles from which he would make the final choice of candidates. He did not indicate the relative weights to be given the three parts of the application. PPFF at para. 32. The panel received its instructions from Carolyn Drewery of the Personnel Office who remained available to the Panel members for consultation during the rating process. DPFF at para. 31; PPFF at para. 33. Drewery suggested a rating system which the panel followed. The panel members individually rated each candidate in each category. After reaching individual ratings, the panel met to decide upon composite scores. DPFF at para. 32; see PPFF at para. 33.

 Plaintiff's Supervisory Appraisal Form was completed by his foreman, Roscoe Hutzell. Hutzell had twice recommended plaintiff for cash awards of $ 500 and $ 800, respectively. DPFF at para. 25. Hutzell rated plaintiff as follows:

 
ability to operate equipment -- 4
 
technical expertise and ability to supervise operations personnel -- 3
 
knowledge of materials -- 4
 
experience in setting up new jobs and ...

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