at the August 22 meeting. See, e.g., id.; April 6 Tr. at 29; April 5 Tr. at 40-44. Downs limited the authorization to Palmer only. He did not authorize the creation of a new position in the division. Downs also specifically conditioned the authorization for Palmer's promotion upon his formal commitment to serve in the Fire Department for 18 or 24 months after his promotion. Id. at 28.
12. On August 23, 1985, Coleman informed Palmer that he had spoken with Downs and that Downs had agreed to promote Palmer. Coleman did not relay Downs' request for a commitment to serve in the Department for an additional 18 or 24 months. Palmer asked Coleman for a date and a time for his promotion. Coleman responded that he could not give him a date and time. April 5 Tr. at 43. Memorializing that conversation, Coleman wrote that he told Palmer that the promotion "could possibly be handled" but that back pay "could not be promised." Coleman April 30 Memorandum. However, Palmer's testimony, as well as Coleman's, indicates that Palmer was informed that his promotion had been authorized but was given no documentation or other proof that it would be forthcoming. April 5 Tr. at 42; Coleman Tr. at 54.
13. On August 30, 1985, Palmer retired, believing that his prospects for promotion were hopeless. Had Coleman given him a date and time, or some documentation regarding the promotion, he would not have retired. April 5 Tr. at 44-45.
14. On September 11, Carl Archer, a black Battalion Chief, was promoted to Acting Deputy Fire Chief of the Communications Division. On December 3, 1985, Archer was promoted to Deputy Fire Chief along with five other Battalion Chiefs. It is more likely than not likely that, had Palmer not retired, Palmer would have been promoted on December 3, 1985 instead of Archer.
Prior to mid-1984, defendants did not promote plaintiff because of the Mayor's policy of equalizing black and white promotions in the Fire Department. That policy continued through 1985, but after mid-1984, defendants also did not promote plaintiff for non-discriminatory reasons. Downs' credible testimony that he did not authorize Palmer's promotion because of concerns about the creation of rank is corroborated by the fact that defendants did not promote any Battalion Chief to Deputy Fire Chief from mid-1983 until the end of 1985. Prior to the time when Downs authorized Palmer's promotion, the District therefore demonstrated that had there been no discrimination Palmer still would not have been promoted for non-discriminatory reasons -- because Downs felt Coleman wanted to solve personality problems by creating rank. During that time, Price Waterhouse precludes liability by the District for its discriminatory policies. Furthermore, since Palmer knew or should have known of the District's discriminatory policies before the advent of Downs' non-discriminatory reasons for withholding authorization for his promotion, no "discovery rule" tolling the applicable 300-day statute of limitations applies to the earlier period during which the District failed to promote Palmer for solely discriminatory reasons.
Downs, however, ultimately authorized Palmer's promotion. The promotion was never effected because Coleman did not offer Palmer tangible verification of it, such as a date or time, or documentation. Palmer therefore had no reason to believe the promise was any more reliable than the numerous promises he had received previously. Price Waterhouse imposes upon the District the burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that Coleman was not authorized to give Palmer a date for his promotion. The District has conspicuously failed to prove a lack of authorization or to offer any evidence of why Coleman equivocated following Downs' decision. Plaintiffs presented convincing evidence that Coleman observed the Mayor's policy of equalizing black and white promotions in the Department after mid-1984 and through 1985. It may be reasonably inferred that Coleman did not provide Palmer with a date and time or documentation because he was clinging to the earlier policy: when push came to shove, Coleman was reluctant to promote Palmer without promoting a black in tandem out of deference to the Mayor's earlier policy.
Accordingly, Palmer's recovery is limited to the period of time when Coleman equivocated and failed to fully communicate Downs' decision to him, following Downs' authorization of his promotion and until his retirement. That period of time is nine days -- August 22 to August 30, 1985. Plaintiffs shall on or before August 5, 1991 submit a proposed order implementing this decision on remand.
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