claims of discrimination during her tenure at the National Office in Washington, D.C. more than ten years later. They cannot by themselves, of course, provide a basis for awarding damages since the discrimination at that time was not the subject of an EEO complaint and time for suit has run.
Ms. Lake worked in the Dallas District Office of CID for about five years. Glenn Shepard, Assistant Chief of the office, was her second-level supervisor from July 1973 to July 1974, when he was promoted to Chief and became her third-level supervisor. She was the only female agent in this small CID unit serving with several males. She entertained the agents occasionally at her home and travelled with them on work assignments to different locations within the jurisdiction of the office. Her work record was very good and she was considered an exceptionally valuable employee.
The preponderance of the evidence supports her claim that the atmosphere in the Dallas District Office at that time was gross, vulgar, sexually explicit and that it denigrated females. In the partitioned open-cubical office, male agents often engaged in provocative talk, told dirty jokes, and openly harassed and made sexual advances toward an attractive secretary. This condition did not affect her assignments or interfere with the fair appraisal of her work performance. It was at times very unpleasant for her and obviously inappropriate. There is no credible proof that Ms. Lake officially complained or vigorously objected while this was going on. Her occasional informal remonstrances were not taken seriously and were shrugged off without official action.
Mr. Shepard was an experienced CID agent and manager who, like some of the other agents, had served in various offices around the country before the advent of female agents in 1972.
He did not contribute directly to the unpleasant sexist atmosphere in the District Office by his own daily conduct but he knew the situation existed and did nothing positive to stop it. He came to know Ms. Lake in the course of their working assignments which involved some travel together away from Dallas.
After a time Ms. Lake and Mr. Shepard found they enjoyed each other's social company after hours and, beginning in late fall 1973, they had a sexual affair of some duration. This situation became known to the staff and was a source of some pranks at a party. There is no proof or claim that Ms. Lake was forced into this relationship or that she incurred any advantage or disadvantage at work because of it. Mr. Shepard and Ms. Lake kept their relationship separate from their work and carried out their employment responsibilities in a normal manner.
As time went on Ms. Lake and Mr. Shepard saw each other socially less frequently, and while she was still employed Ms. Lake broke off the relationship, after resisting his persistent off-duty advances beginning in early 1974. During the period of Mr. Shepard's relations with Ms. Lake his first marriage was in difficulty. Ms. Lake had previously been divorced. The relationship was not Mr. Shepard's first office affair; later Mr. Shepard dated other women in CID and eventually remarried.
Shortly after becoming CID's Assistant Regional Commissioner for the Southwest Region in 1976, John Rankin, as part of his effort to install minority and women CID employees in management positions in the region, encouraged Ms. Lake to seek a position as GS-13 Regional Analyst in the Dallas Regional Office. She was highly qualified and was subsequently interviewed and selected. In March 1977, when she commenced this new position, Mr. Shepard had become Executive Assistant to the Regional Commissioner and he became her first-line supervisor.
Ms. Lake contends that Mr. Shepard raped her in her New Orleans hotel room in the spring or summer of 1978 while they were on a business trip. Mr. Shepard testified and flatly denied this charge. Ms. Lake never reported the alleged rape to anyone in CID,
nor did she tell her close female friend to whom she confided other aspects of her relationship with Mr. Shepard. The Court accepts Mr. Shepard's detailed version of their relationship as the most credible.
In March 1979 Ms. Lake applied for several GM-14 Senior Regional Analyst positions which had become vacant in the Southwest Regional Office but was not selected. She submitted a letter of resignation on April 16, 1979, effective May 5, 1979. Ms. Lake testified she resigned because she was unwilling to tolerate the sexist atmosphere she had encountered any longer, and felt because she failed to gain a prompt promotion despite her outstanding ability and hard work her career path was blocked. She had been advised from the outset that one advanced slowly to higher management and only after "paying one's dues." But even at this early stage of her career she could not accept the obvious fact that advancement to higher management positions in CID was highly competitive and required extensive and varied experience.
When she resigned Ms. Lake initially gave no reasons for her action. Because her work had been of high quality and her ability was appreciated, key supervisors -- particularly Walter Coppinger, the Regional Commissioner, and Mr. Rankin -- attempted to dissuade her and sought to determine why she was leaving for private employment. At this point she submitted a ten-page memorandum entitled "Clarification of Resignation" which she discussed with Mr. Rankin. This memorandum reviewed in great detail her work experience both with CID and in other prior jobs she had held with private industry and with other government agencies. It revealed she had fought to get ahead, sometimes against heavy odds, and portrayed this experience as evidence of having paid her dues because she had come through many difficult circumstances. She said she had shifted jobs more than once because she refused sexual advances from male superiors. She suggested that because of her age, then in the mid-30's, if she could not move up promptly into higher management such jobs would never be open to her. Not having been promoted she felt she was indeed a "token broad," as some male employees had indicated. She did not detail the atmosphere of the Dallas Office, of which she now complains, nor did she mention the alleged rape.
Mr. Rankin reviewed the memorandum with her in detail. As his contemporaneous notes reveal she told him, as to her reasons for leaving, that she felt she should have been promoted as best qualified, that she wanted to try out being a tax manager in industry, that she had medical problems associated with "nerves," and that she did not like some new federal statutes affecting merit pay which had an impact on managers. Mr. Rankin told her he would not tolerate anyone using the term "token broad" and that she should feel free to file an EEO complaint. He attempted to dissuade her. She stuck by her decision to leave, and did not file a complaint.
The Court finds Ms. Lake did not resign because of the sexual harassment that existed in the office, although she undoubtedly disliked the office atmosphere which she somewhat now exaggerates. Ms. Lake's testimony was unreliable in several respects. She misrepresented her relationship with Mr. Shepard and sought to imply that she was in some way being forced to put up with the sexist atmosphere of the office and Mr. Shepard's advances as part of "paying her dues." In fact she resigned to use her skills in the private sector, anticipating more rapid advancement, and hoped to be better able to deal with her medical problems.
There is no proof indicating that the harassing conditions in the Dallas District Office persisted into the relevant period of this case or that these conditions were then or at any later time typical in any way of sexual attitudes in other District or Regional offices.
Ms. Lake's Second Tour of Duty
Ms. Lake's substantive sex discrimination claims all relate to her experience in the National Office during her second tour of duty.
Ms. Lake started her second tour at the Oklahoma City District Office in August 1981 as a GS-12 Special Agent. She was competitively promoted to GM-13 Group Manager in November 1981 and in August 1982 promoted to GM-14 Group Manager. She concentrated on tax shelters and received a rare and highly prized "Distinguished Performance" rating. She stayed in the Oklahoma City Office until laterally transferred, with her consent, to serve as the Senior Coordinator for tax shelters at the National Office in Washington, D.C. with the rank of Senior Analyst, GM-14, a mid-level management grade.
Between 1982 and 1985, while Ms. Lake was at the National Office, the relevant lines of supervisory authority which affected her career are sketched below, to indicate the responsibilities of key officals with whom she came into contact:
DEPARTMENT OF THE TREASURY
COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE
ASSOCIATE COMMISSIONER (Operations)
ASSISTANT COMMISSIONER (Criminal Investigation)
-- Richard Wassenaar, Ass't Commissioner
-- John Rankin, Deputy Ass't Commissioner
Office of Office of Planning
Investigations & Development
-- Brian T. Wellesley -- Charles Gibb
2nd-line supervisor 2nd-line supervisor
to Ann Lake to Ann Lake
-- Stephen Hironaka
1st-line supervisor 1st-line supervisor
to Ann Lake to Ann Lake
Ann Lake, Senior
Coordinator, Tax AND Analyst, Tax Shelters
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