of Ms. Shetler were the true and only reasons for her dismissal.
The agency decided to implement the 1983 RIF because of the requirement of personnel cuts and the reasonable prediction that attrition would not lower the number of employees to the level that the agency wanted in 1983. The recommendation of a RIF originated below Mr. Stryker and was approved by Admiral Shear. The plaintiff has failed to convince the Court that the RIF was urged by Mr. Stryker as a way of getting to Ms. Shetler. The plaintiff failed to discredit the stated reason for the RIF, failed to prove that it was pretextual, and failed to prove that the agency's decisionmakers took into account retaliatory motives at all in deciding to implement the RIF. The plaintiff did show that the agency did not necessarily take into account in its calculations the fact that it would seek approval for 29 new emergency hires in 1983. This fact does not, however, discredit the reasons for the RIF, establish that they were pretextual, or prove that they were motivated even in part by a retaliatory motive.
In addition, the Court concludes that the agency showed valid reasons for the decision to dismiss employees from the plaintiff's office. While the plaintiff showed that the agency had no "programmatic" reason for making cuts in the Code 250 office, the Court notes that an agency cannot be required to have a specific reason for cuts at each office during an agency-wide RIF. The fact that an agency-wide cut is desired is, almost by definition, enough. It is clear that Admiral Shear wanted the cuts to fall primarily on the regional and Washington offices. It is also clear that the cuts suffered by Code 250 were not extraordinary; indeed, they were less severe than those suffered by other offices. Finally, it is clear that the handwritten increase in the number of cuts at Code 250 from one to two was made in Admiral Shear's hand; there is no evidence that Mr. Stryker pushed for this change to his own proposal. In sum, the plaintiff failed to discredit the defendant's reasons for the cuts to Code 250, failed to prove that they were pretextual, and failed to prove that the agency was motivated even in part by a retaliatory motive.
Finally, the Court concludes that the agency established a solid and undiscredited rationale for the decision to abolish the plaintiff's position in the RIF. Mr. Friedberg concluded that, although the plaintiff was a valued worker, most of her job functions either could be done by other persons or were decreasing in importance as MarAd's functions changed. The plaintiff again failed to prove that these stated reasons were not the true ones. The Court's conclusion is not swayed by the fact that the plaintiff, a high-level official at the time, was not offered a GS-6 typing position, nor by the fact that the one position occupied by an employee that the plaintiff was entitled to "bump" also was abolished. Again, the Court does not believe that the plaintiff either discredited the stated reason for the decision to abolish the plaintiff's position, proved that the stated reason was pretextual, or that the agency was motivated even in part by retaliatory motives.
In conclusion, the Court notes that when a plaintiff establishes in a retaliation case that her supervisors at one time expressed animosity toward her EEO activities, the Court must examine with the closest scrutiny the employer's stated reasons for the adverse action taken against the employee. On the other hand, when the employer has compelling nonretaliatory reasons, the plaintiff cannot shield herself from adverse action merely because of the earlier expressions of animosity. In the instant case, the plaintiff failed to prove that Mr. Stryker conjured up a RIF in the hope that Ms. Shetler would be dismissed, or that Mr. Friedberg used the opportunity of the RIF to fulfill a retaliatory urge by abolishing Ms. Shetler's position, or that Mr. Stryker and Mr. Friedberg conspired to eliminate the plaintiff's job. The Court concludes that the agency proved that its actions were taken because of legitimate, nonrelatiatory reasons. The Court finds no liability under Title VII.
September 11, 1989
JUDGMENT ORDER -- September 12, 1989, Filed
In accordance with the memorandum filed on this date, judgment is entered in favor of the defendant.
September 11, 1989