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MOORE v. WEST

January 9, 1998

SAMUEL MOORE, JR., Plaintiff,
v.
TOGO D. WEST, JR., Secretary of the Army, Defendant.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: HARRIS

 Plaintiff alleges that defendant discriminated against him on the basis of his age and race, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16 ("Title VII"), and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. 633a ("ADEA"). *fn1"

 By a September 30, 1994, Memorandum Order, the Court denied the parties' cross-motions for summary judgment. *fn2" The Court stated:

 
Genuine issues of material fact preclude the entry of summary judgment for either side. First, there is a material dispute over whether plaintiff has established a prima facie case: (1) the evidence is disputed as to whether Almazan was aware of plaintiff's race and age when she made her first recommendation not to hire him, and (2) there is a material dispute over whether plaintiff was qualified for the job. Defendant contends that plaintiff was not qualified primarily because he lacked recent clinical experience with humans. However, Walter Reed's official job description for the position, which was approved by Almazan, does not list clinical experience as a requirement for the job. Yet such a requirement could be inferred from the duties listed in the job description, or from custom in the field. . . .
 
Defendant contends that, assuming plaintiff has established a prima facie case, it still is entitled to summary judgment because it has come forward with a legitimate nondiscriminatory reason for not hiring plaintiff -- lack of recent clinical experience with humans. Again, this issue is intertwined with the issue of whether plaintiff was qualified for the job.

 Mem. Order at 6 (internal citation omitted).

 The Court held a two-day bench trial. This Opinion sets forth the Court's findings of fact and conclusions of law as required by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 52(a). Based on the credible evidence presented at trial, the Court concludes that defendant did not discriminate against plaintiff.

 Findings of Fact

 The Walter Reed Army Medical Center ("WRAMC") is a nationally-known facility, a reference center, and the United States Army's largest hospital. Its microbiology and infectious disease department is one of the most prestigious in the United States. Because of the complexity of its work and its use of cutting-edge procedures, entry level medical technologists need to be highly skilled. Each technologist must be able to perform all of the complex microbiological procedures that are done in the lab, must be able to work independently, and must be able to complete certain tasks within a specified amount of time.

 In August 1987, plaintiff, a black male then in his mid-fifties, was certified by the Office of Personnel and Management ("OPM") as an eligible candidate for a GS-644-09 Medical Technologist vacancy in the Clinical Microbiology Laboratory Section in the Department of Pathology at the WRAMC. On September 30, 1987, Rebecca Almazan, a 52-year-old Hispanic female and the supervisor of that section, reviewed plaintiff's Form 171 application (the "171").

 The next position was described by plaintiff as health advisor in health education to middle and secondary schools for the Howard County School System. The written description of this position also did not indicate clinical microbiological experience.

 The third position listed was "Administrator Head" of the University of Maryland Hospital; plaintiff was at that job from 1974 until 1982. In this capacity, plaintiff supervised 120 employees and served as a faculty member. He managed all administrative responsibilities for a clinical laboratory. Almazan concluded that, while plaintiff might have had some bench experience in that capacity, he was primarily an administrator.

 Upon review of plaintiff's 171, Almazan concluded that there was no indication that plaintiff had had clinical experience in microbiology since 1974, when he was last with the United States Air Force. Almazan consequently recommended to the Head of Pathology, Colonel Gary Clark, that plaintiff be rejected on the grounds that he had inadequate clinical experience, and that his ...


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