for the balance of 1994, after his October 25 discharge, and to the bonus that he would have earned had he remained until the end of 1994. Plaintiff also claims entitlement to back pay from the beginning of 1995 until March 22, 1996, the date judgment was entered in this case, and two years of front pay.
Defendants interpose a legal defense to any award of back pay or front pay after the date of Katten, Muchin & Zavis's unconditional offer to employ plaintiff in Chicago, Los Angeles or New York. The assertion is that that offer operated, under the rule announced in Ford Motor Co. v. EEOC, 458 U.S. 219, 227-28, 73 L. Ed. 2d 721, 102 S. Ct. 3057 (1982), to toll the accrual of back pay. The Ford Motor Co. tolling rule depends, however, upon a finding that the employee's rejection of the offer was unreasonable. See Fiedler v. Indianhead Truck Line, 670 F.2d 806, 808 (8th Cir. 1982); Fairhead v. Deleau, Cather & Co., 817 F. Supp. 153, 159-60 (D.D.C. 1993). In this case, such a finding is precluded by the jury's verdict of constructive discharge. That finding, by which I am bound, see Green v. Kinney Shoe Corp., 728 F. Supp. 768 (D.D.C. 1989) (citing cases), cannot co-exist with a finding that plaintiff unreasonably rejected the transfer offer, and the tolling defense accordingly fails as a matter of law.
Nevertheless, after reviewing the record with due regard for a district court's duty to "fashion [equitable] relief so as to provide a victim of employment discrimination the most complete make-whole relief possible," Barbour v. Merrill, supra, at 1278, I find that plaintiff has not sustained his burden of establishing his entitlement to an award of back pay after October 25, 1994, or to any award of front pay. In July 1994, Katten, Muchin decided to close down the insurance practice that had provided work for plaintiff and a number of other lawyers in its Washington office. Between July and November 1994, defections and terminations reduced the number of lawyers in Katten, Muchin's Washington office from 42 to 14. The firm terminated all five of the Washington office associates whose work had been supported by Mark Dombroff's insurance clients but who were left behind by Dombroff's departure. Plaintiff had no reasonable expectation of continued employment in Katten Muchin's Washington office after October 1994. It would be "unduly speculative," see McKnight v. General Motors Corp., 973 F.2d 1366, 1373 (7th Cir. 1992), to award plaintiff anything for loss of salary after the date of his termination.
An appropriate order accompanies this memorandum.
United States District Judge
June 24, 1996
For the reasons stated in the accompanying memorandum, it is this 24th day of June, 1996, ordered that:
1. Defendants' motion for leave to file supplemental brief [ # 95] is granted.
2. Defendants' motion for judgment as a matter of law, or in the alternative, for a new trial or remittitur [ # 90] is denied.
3. Plaintiff's motion for equitable relief [ # 86] is granted in part and denied in part. Plaintiff will be awarded $ 1820 in back pay plus prejudgment interest. Plaintiff may submit a form of order that includes an appropriately calculated amount of prejudgment interest.
4. The stay imposed by this Court's order of April 18, 1996 [ # 81] is dissolved. The Clerk may proceed with the taxation of costs in the ordinary course, and defendants may have to and including July 15, 1996, within which to file any response to plaintiff's motion for attorneys' fees.
United States District Judge