government asserts that no payments should be made into the Back Pay Account created by the order of reference until an individual claimant's entitlement to back pay is no longer subject to appeal. The plaintiffs are concerned with the prompt resolution of individual claims and disbursement of amounts awarded without undue delay. Neither the plaintiffs' nor the government's proposed order, however, prescribes a procedure for the review of the decisions of the Special Master by the Court.
The order approved today requires payments into the Back Pay Account immediately following the Special Master's decision on the entitlement of an individual claimant.
However, it prohibits the disbursement of funds to individual class members while an appeal that would affect those funds is still possible.
The parties are instructed to meet and negotiate to reach an agreement regarding appeals to this Court that will take into account the legitimate interest of the government in protecting its right to review and the legitimate interests of the class members in receiving the back pay due them as quickly as possible. By September 15, 1986, the parties shall submit a joint proposal or, if they are unable to agree, separate proposals for the consideration of the Court.
On the basis of the above, the accompanying order of reference is entered as of this date.
Barrington D. Parker United States District Judge.
ORDER OF REFERENCE TO SPECIAL MASTER
Pursuant to Rule 53(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, this action is hereby referred to United States Magistrate Arthur L. Burnett, Jr. as Special Master to conduct proceedings to calculate the amount of back pay to be awarded to members of the plaintiff class. For purposes of these proceedings before the Special Master, the plaintiff class includes all past and present black employees of the Offset Press Section ("OPS") of the United States Government Printing Office ("GPO"), other than persons who permanently left OPS prior to February 10, 1973. The following guidelines for back pay proceedings are hereby adopted and entered to direct the conduct of those proceedings.
1. Back Pay Periods. Class members may present claims with respect to the selection of journeymen for promotion to uprate and supervisor positions available subsequent to August 8, 1969 and prior to January 30, 1981 (the date of the Court's Final Order granting relief), and in the selection of printing plant workers for training or promotion to journeyman positions available subsequent to August 18, 1969 and prior to January 1, 1972. However, awards of back pay shall accrue no earlier than March 12, 1971, two years prior to the filing of the initial administrative complaint in this case with the GPO.
2. Initial Proceedings. As an initial step, the Special Master shall conduct whatever proceedings may be necessary to determine those positions within the Offset Press Section to which promotions were made by formal application and competition (either for a training program or to the position itself), and those positions or programs filled without formal notice and application, or through other non-competitive means. In making such determination, the Special Master shall review GPO documents which set forth the criteria and procedures for promotion, such as GPO Instruction 615.2A (Federal Merit Promotion Program). Any position for which a person could be considered on the basis of nomination by an appropriate operating official shall be considered to be a position which could be filled without formal notice and application.
3. Notice to Class Members. Notice and claim forms have been sent out to class members pursuant to a procedure established by order of the Court.
4. Establishment of Schedule for Claims. Within sixty (60) days after entry of this Order, plaintiff class counsel shall report to the Special Master the extent to which class members have indicated that they wish to file claims for back pay, and shall propose a schedule for the presentation of those claims to the Special Master. Such schedule shall include a statement of the extent to which additional information concerning those claims is necessary, and shall propose a procedure, including additional discovery if necessary, for obtaining such information. Upon receipt of the report from plaintiff class counsel, and after consultation with defendants, the Special Master shall establish a schedule for the presentation of claims and defendant's responses for approval by the Court. Subject to the discretion of the Special Master, the defendant shall have the opportunity to obtain discovery from the plaintiffs. The Special Master shall then schedule additional proceedings on contested claims as necessary and shall have discretion to require submissions from the parties as he deems appropriate.
5. Filing of Individual Claims. Each claim filed before the Special Master pursuant to the schedule established in Paragraph 4 shall contain the following information:
(a) the claimant's name;
(b) for present employees, current position and pay rate; for past employees, position and pay rate as of their last date of employment at the GPO;