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JOHNSON v. HOWARD UNIV.

July 2, 1986

ALLEN W. JOHNSON, Plaintiff,
v.
HOWARD UNIVERSITY, et al., Defendants



The opinion of the court was delivered by: PARKER

 Barrington D. Parker, Senior District Judge:

 Mr. Allen W. Johnson, a male, brings this action against his former employer Howard University and two University officials, Dean Vincent Johns and Ms. Roberta McLeod. Plaintiff charges that when he was terminated in June 1983, his rights conferred under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 were violated. In late December 1982, Mr. Johnson filed an official complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") charging the University with sexual discrimination. He amended that claim and in February 1983 filed a charge of retaliation arising out of a five-day suspension levied against him in January 1983. He claims that the suspension was a retaliatory measure because he filed an EEOC discrimination complaint.

 The trial of this action was heard by the Court without a jury. The legal memoranda of counsel, the testimony of the several witnesses for the parties, the exhibits, and the argument of counsel have all been fully considered. The Court determines that the plaintiff's Title VII rights were not violated, that he was not the victim of sexual discrimination or a retaliatory discharge, and, therefore, he is not entitled to relief. Indeed, the charges of discrimination brought by the plaintiff are devoid of merit and cause the Court to question his counsel's familiarity and compliance with the letter and spirit of the provisions of Rule 11 Fed. R. Civ. P., which provide in part:

 As required by Rule 52 of the Fed. R. Civ. P., the Court enters the following findings of fact and conclusions of law.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 The Armour Blackburn Center is a multi-purpose Howard University facility containing several well-appointed meeting, assembly and banquet rooms where various student and University-sponsored activities are scheduled. In February 1980, plaintiff Allen W. Johnson was appointed to serve as night and weekend manager at the Center. Shortly after Johnson's employment, Ms. Roberta McLeod was appointed as Director of the Center and plaintiff reported directly to her as his supervisor.

 From the outset of his employment, plaintiff began to have conflicts and experience strained relationships with his supervisor. The testimony showed that Johnson's overall performance fell short of what was expected. As a consequence, on January 12, 1981, Ms. McLeod recommended the denial of plaintiff's regularly-scheduled pay increase. The reasons for her recommendation included general dissatisfaction with plaintiff's handling of job duties and poor interpersonal relationships with his colleagues and supervisors. (D. Ex.-2.)

 Plaintiff received the step increase, despite Ms. McLeod's recommendation, because she had not submitted the recommendation to the University's Personnel Office within the required time period. In his testimony concerning this incident, Johnson implied and claimed that McLeod's actions were based on the merits of his performance. Such was not the case. His wage increase was granted because of a mixup in procedures. This conclusion was amply supported by the testimony of Ms. McLeod and Arthur Newman, the Director of the University's Personnel Office.

 Several weeks later, on February 24, 1981, Ms. McLeod issued plaintiff a formal notice of unsatisfactory work performance. The notice stated that plaintiff had exhibited deficiencies in the following categories: failure to use sound judgment, failure to perform officially directed duties and responsibilities, and insubordination. (D. Ex.-3.) McLeod testified that following the notice, while there was some improvement in plaintiff's performance, he still remained deficient in various areas. Hence, on April 28, 1981, there was cause to issue another memorandum regarding his work performance. The memorandum noted some improvement in performance and attitude, but again pointed to specific problem areas. These included responsibility for checking the Blackburn Center on a daily basis; evening and weekend program scheduling; responsibility for making building rounds to assure that all areas and equipment were secured; and inadequacies in the required daily report. (D. Ex.-4.)

 On May 15, 1981, plaintiff submitted a formal complaint to Arthur Newman, Director of Personnel, Howard University. In this memorandum, he accused McLeod of back-dating personnel data, falsification and fabrication of information, misuse of authority, favoritism and discrimination. (D. Ex.-19.) The credible testimony and evidence show that this was a reckless charge. The University Personnel Director testified that he conducted an investigation and issued a formal decision on June 10, 1981 concluding that plaintiff's charges were unfounded. (D. Ex.-20.) Newman was closely examined on this matter and the Court finds that his conclusion was reasonable and well-founded.

 On January 10, 1982, Ms. McLeod issued a memorandum to plaintiff which contained his second annual performance evaluation. (D. Ex.-9.) The memorandum indicated that plaintiff's performance continued to be deficient. She also stated that plaintiff's carelessness and neglect of his duties had caused delays in the operation of the Center and that she intended to recommend the denial of his regularly scheduled step increase. Plaintiff then addressed a memorandum to Dean Johns appealing the recommendation of the denial of the step increase and requesting a meeting on the matter. (D. Ex.-25.) Dean Johns responded immediately, stating that he was affirming Ms. McLeod's recommendation to deny the step increase. (D. Ex.-26.)

 On September 30, 1982, Ms. McLeod issued another memorandum to plaintiff regarding his job performance. This memorandum stated that plaintiff's performance continued to be unsatisfactory -- noting his absenteeism, ...


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