This evidence is insufficient to establish either a specific initial application for a particular apprentice training program or of any re-application for specific openings. See Miller v. United States, 603 F. Supp. 1244, 1249 (D.D.C. 1985) (plaintiffs' failure to show that they applied or were qualified for assignments warrants summary judgment).
Plaintiffs' evidence was also insufficient to demonstrate that they met the necessary qualifications for selection to the apprenticeship program. The uncontested evidence established that plaintiffs were required to take and pass a nation examination to be eligible for the apprentice program. Yet, only plaintiffs Hill, Munford, and Skipworth testified that they ever even took such an examination and they offered no evidence of examination dates or of their scores on the examination. The evidence is also undisputed that a passing score of 70 on the examination was required to be eligible for further consideration, but a passing score alone was not the only qualification. Once candidates passed the examination, they were then ranked according to their scores. Thus, someone who passed with a score of 70 or more might well be ranked quite low on the list, depending on how many people passed with a higher score. Plaintiffs failed to offer any evidence of how they ranked on the list, or of their competitive ranking with others as part of the necessary proof that they met the qualifications for the journeyman apprentice position.
Similarly, despite unchallenged evidence that qualified candidates were also required to submit supervisory recommendations and than given rankings that combined test scores and evaluations, plaintiffs offered no evidence that they obtained or submitted such evaluations, or that they were favorable, and no evidence of their overall ranking in comparison to the other candidates for the journeyman apprentice positions at the same time based upon their combined test scores and supervisory ratings.
The plaintiffs' evidence is thus insufficient to demonstrate that they were qualified for selection as journeymen. International Brotherhood of Teamsters v. United States, 431 U.S. 324, 358 n.44, 52 L. Ed. 2d 396, 97 S. Ct. 1843 (1977) (plaintiff must demonstrate that rejection was not based on "an absolute or relative lack of qualifications") Mitchell v. Baldrige, 245 U.S. App. D.C. 60, 759 F.2d 80, 84-85 (D.C. Cir. 1985) (plaintiff must show that she is capable of performing the tasks required of the job); Davis v. Califano, 198 U.S. App. D.C. 224, 613 F.2d 957, 964 (D.C. Cir. 1979) (plaintiff must demonstrate "minimum objective qualifications" as part of a prima facie case); Wilson v. CWA, 767 F. Supp. 304, 307 (D.D.C. 1991) (plaintiff's evidence failed to show that she was as qualified as the individuals who applied and were selected); Miller, 603 F. Supp. at 1249 (plaintiffs failed to establish that they were qualified for promotion under merit promotion selection system).
Plaintiffs also failed to offer any evidence that GPO selected persons of equal or lesser qualifications than plaintiffs for the apprenticeship positions. No comparative evidence was presented of "similarly situated" whites who applied for or were selected for the journeyman apprentice program between 1961 and 1978, either as compared specifically to these plaintiffs or as compared generally to black applicants during this time period. Even if plaintiffs had offered evidence that some, or even most, of the successful apprentice candidates were white (which they did not), this would not prove that plaintiffs were discriminatorily denied journeyman positions in the 1960s and 1970s. See, e.g., Furnco Construction Corp. v. Waters, 438 U.S. 567, 580, 57 L. Ed. 2d 957, 98 S. Ct. 2943 (1978); International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 431 U.S. at 339-40; Frazier v. Consolidated Rail Corp., 271 U.S. App. D.C. 220, 851 F.2d 1447, 1454 (D.C. Cir. 1988) (plaintiffs' statistical evidence of work-force composition insufficient where it failed to include information showing the number of blacks eligible for promotion); McKenzie, 684 F.2d at 76 (district court must determine whether plaintiffs proved at liability stage that "all white employees similarly situated to plaintiffs automatically received a benefit denied to the plaintiffs" to determine if they were entitled to remedial relief); Miller, 603 F. Supp. at 1249 (failure to identify "any particular white employee or employees who were treated more favorably than plaintiffs" warrants summary judgment).
Plaintiffs also offered nothing to dispute the evidence that the number of blacks hired or promoted by GPO into journeyman positions prior to the time they were selected for journeyman training were not only representative of the numbers of qualified black candidates in the qualified labor force, but also far exceeded those numbers in every year the apprentices were hired.
The evidence presented by GPO and CTU established the percentages of blacks either in journeyman positions or graduating from journeyman apprentice programs for the years 1961, 1963, 1964, 1968, 1969, 1970, 1972, and 1974. These percentages ranged between one-and-a-half times to more than five times greater than the percentages of blacks in the qualified labor market relevant to this case.
Such evidence demonstrates the absence of discrimination.
Absent explanation, it is ordinarily to be expected that nondiscriminatory hiring practices will. . . result in a work force more or less representative of the racial and ethnic composition of the population in the community from which employees are hired.
International Brotherhood of Teamsters, 431 U.S. at 339-40 n.20.
Because this case is not a class action, plaintiffs were required to prove specific discrimination against them, and cannot rely upon collateral evidence of "general instances of discrimination." Williams v. Boorstin, 213 U.S. App. D.C. 345, 663 F.2d 109, 115 n.38 (D.C. Cir. 1980). However, even if that were not the rule, plaintiffs failed to offer any statistical evidence of racial disparity in the numbers of journeymen and apprentices during the alleged years of "channeling" as circumstantial evidence of intent. Having failed to prove that race was "a determining factor" or "made a difference" in their non-selection as journeymen, Cuddy v. Carmen, 224 U.S. App. D.C. 287, 694 F.2d 853, 857-58 (D.C. Cir. 1982), plaintiffs have failed to establish a prima facie case of disparate treatment in their "channeling" claims involving journeyman apprenticeship selection at GPO's Composing Division during the 1960s and 1970s. Frazier, 851 F.2d at 1453; see also Johnson v. Lehman, 220 U.S. App. D.C. 100, 679 F.2d 918, 922 (D.C. Cir. 1982).
Therefore, plaintiffs have no basis for challenging their ranking within the priority system which awards a priority date based upon the attainment of journeyman status.
Plaintiffs also failed to prove that the priority system had a significantly discriminatory impact. Connecticut v. Teal, 457 U.S. 440, 446, 73 L. Ed. 2d 130, 102 S. Ct. 2525 (1982). As evidence of the disparate effect of the priority system at GPO, plaintiffs point to essentially two pieces of evidence: a VKS second shift priority list prepared at some unspecified time in the 1980s, after the plaintiffs obtained journeyman status as Video Keyboard Operators (which indicates that these plaintiffs were not ranked among the employees with the highest priority dates on that occasion), and a statistical analysis of the distribution of "hook work" on the VKS second shift. Plaintiffs argue that the "channeling" process discussed above led to their lower priority dates, and thus to their greater time on hook work.
The evidence presented by defendant, which the Court credits, established there was no statistically significant disparity in the percentage of hook work performed by similarly situated blacks and whites in the VKS of EPD in any relevant year. Neither was there a statistically significant disparity in the percentage of hook work performed by blacks when compared to the percentage of hook work performed by the (mean) average for all whites on the second shift of the VKS in EPD. Nor was there a positively statistically significant disparity between the percentage of hook work performed by any plaintiff and either (a) similarly situated whites, or (b) the average for all whites on the second shift of the VKS in EPD. As a result, all credible and relevant evidence refutes, rather than supports, plaintiffs' claims of discrimination.
Plaintiffs failed to prove any causal connection between the priority system and (1) any racial discrimination in the journeyman selection process, or (2) any disparity in job assignments in VKS. Such a failure is futile to plaintiffs' prima facie case. Wards Cove Packing Co. v. Atonio, 490 U.S. 642, 656-67, 104 L. Ed. 2d 733, 109 S. Ct. 2115 (1989). Having failed to demonstrate that GPO's hiring and selection practices for journeyman positions were based upon or affected by racial discrimination, plaintiffs have no basis for attacking the journeyman priority system in general or their specific failure to receive journeyman priority dates for any time earlier than the time they actually completed their journeyman training. The priority system cannot be said to perpetuate the effects of past discrimination when plaintiffs failed to prove that such discrimination existed. American Tobacco Co. v. Patterson, 456 U.S. 63, 69, 71 L. Ed. 2d 748, 102 S. Ct. 1534 (1982) ("To be cognizable, a claim that a seniority system has a discriminatory impact must be accompanied by proof of a discriminatory purpose.").
The priority system that plaintiffs challenge as discriminatory in effect is unrelated to the initial journeyman selection process. Instead, it is, like traditional seniority systems, a benefit that accrues to an individual once they have been selected for a position.
At GPO, an individual who was hired in or promoted to a journeyman position during the period questioned by plaintiffs received a priority date as a journeyman.
The priority date was based upon the time a person became a journeyman at GPO, not when they may have become a journeyman elsewhere, or when they filed for a journeyman position but were not yet qualified to fill it. At trial, plaintiffs' counsel stated that the plaintiffs were not challenging the priority system per se, but only their rightful place in it, a claim based on their "channeling" argument discussed above. Thus, plaintiffs do not challenge and did not present evidence that the criteria for becoming a journeyman in the graphics art industry were not justified and necessary. Since plaintiffs failed to prove that they applied for or were qualified for any specific journeyman positions, they cannot complain about not having a journeyman priority date earlier than individuals who did apply, were qualified for and were performing jobs as graphic arts journeymen.
Plaintiffs did not challenge the evidence presented by GPO and CTU regarding the legitimate business objectives served by the priority system. Plaintiffs did not dispute the evidence that the system was applied on the same terms to all journeyman employees, regardless of race. Similarly, plaintiffs did not dispute the evidence that the system offered a neutral and efficient basis for selecting employees for shifts and lateral transfers. In sum, then, plaintiffs failed to prove defendant's employment practices had a discriminatory impact on them.
In consideration of the above, the Court finds for defendant GPO. An Order is being issued contemporaneously herewith.
April 28, 1995
HAROLD H. GREENE
United States District Judge
Upon consideration of the evidence heard at trial on this matter, and the entire record herein, it is this 28th day of April, 1995, in accordance with the Opinion issued herewith
ORDERED that judgment be and it is hereby entered in favor of the defendant; and it is further
ORDERED that all remaining motions be and they are hereby denied as moot.
HAROLD H. GREENE
United States District Judge