The opinion of the court was delivered by: Urbina, District Judge
GRANTING THE DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
Stanley Woodruff, an African-American man, brings this action against
his employer, the United States Government Printing Office, for alleged
acts of unlawful employment discrimination and retaliation. See Compl. at
2. He seeks compensatory damages, including back pay and adjustment of
benefits, as well as a retroactive promotion. See id. Mr. Woodruff's
claims arise from a promotion he applied for but did not receive.*fn1
See Compl. at 8. Although the GPO had identified Mr. Woodruff as one of
the seven best qualified candidates for the position, the selecting
officers passed him over in favor of a white female, Judith Miller, whom
they had also named as one of the seven best qualified candidates. See
Mr. Woodruff alleges that Ms. Miller's promotion, which occurred on
June 21, 1998, constituted discrimination on the basis of Mr. Woodruff s
race (black), color (black), and sex (male), in violation of Title VII.
See Compl. at 9. In addition, Mr. Woodruff charges that the GPO violated
Title VII by retaliating against him. See id.
The principal factual allegations are as follows. In April 1972, the
GPO hired Mr. Woodruff as a security policeman. See Compl. at 6. In
1974, the GPO assigned him to the Composition Division, now the
Electronic Photocomposition Division ("EPD"), which was "overwhelmingly
comprised" of black men. See id. In 1978, the GPO revamped the EPD with
new technology. Mr. Woodruff and several of his coworkers, also black
men, brought a racial-discrimination suit against the division for not
training them in the new technology. See id. (citing Brewington v.
Boyle, Dkt. No. 78-1290 (D.D.C. 1979)). The suit eventually settled and
Mr. Woodruff received the training he requested. Thereafter, in 1986, the
GPO placed him in the Video Keyboard Section of the EPD as a Printing
Specialist. See id. Mr. Woodruff left the Video Keyboard Section by
December 1988 and moved to the GPO's Production Control and Scheduling
Section, Production Planning and Control Division. See Mot. for Summ. J.
n. 1; see also Pl's Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. ("Pl.'s Opp'n"),
Sometime in 1991, Mr. Woodruff was involved in an incident in which he
placed a brown paper bag over his head to protest management's decision to
hire three groups of 20 employee trainees because in each group black
males were allegedly underrepresented. See Pl's Opp'n at 8. On September
4, 1991, Mr. Woodruff filed a formal EEO complaint with the GPO alleging
that "white employees were being detailed by the GPO to Capitol Hill to
preferred jobs and that Black employees were not given equal opportunities
to be detailed to these preferred jobs." See id. at 9. The plaintiff sent
a copy of this formal EEO complaint to the Joint Committee on Printing,
United States Congress. See id. This EEO complaint generated a letter of
inquiry from Congressman Charles Rosen, Chairman of the Joint Committee
Printing, to the then-head of the GPO, Robert W. Houk. See id.
The three managers who selected Judith Miller for promotion to Video
head deskman were Charles E. Daily (Foreman, Video Keyboard Section,
Shift 1), Robert Schwenk (Superintendent of the EPD), and Glen H. Rottman
(Director of Production Services). See Compl. at 8. All three are white
men. See id. Mr. Daily was the selecting officer, Mr. Schwenk the
concurring officer, and Mr. Rottman the officer who gave final approval
to Ms. Miller's selection. See id.
Mr. Woodruff filed this complaint on January 27, 2000.*fn2 At the
time, the plaintiff held the position of Printing Specialist in the
Production Control and Scheduling Section of the Production Planning and
Control Division. See Mot. for Summ. J. n. 1; Pl's Opp'n (Woodruff
Decl.). The plaintiff claims that the reasons stated by Mr. Daily, Mr.
Schwenk, and Mr. Rottman for denying Mr. Woodruff the promotion to Video
head deskman are in reality a pretext for discrimination on the basis of
race, color, and gender, and in reprisal for the plaintiffs prior
protected activity. See Compl. at 7-8.
On May 10, 2000, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the
retaliation claim for failure to state a claim on which relief may be
granted under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). On October 31,
2000, this court held that because the plaintiff need not make a
prima-facie case of retaliation at the initial pleading stage, the
complaint stated a claim for retaliation on which relief may be granted.
See Woodruff v. DiMario, 197 F.R.D. 191 (D.D.C. 2000) (Urbina, J.)
(citing Sparrow v. United Air Lines, Inc., 216 F.3d 1111, 1114-15
(D.C.Cir. 2000)). Accordingly, the court denied the defendants' motion to
dismiss the retaliation claim. See id.
Now that discovery has closed, the defendants move for summary judgment
on the plaintiff's discrimination and retaliation claims.
A. Legal Standard for Summary Judgment
Summary judgment is appropriate when "the pleadings, depositions,
answers to interrogatories, and admissions on file, together with the
affidavits, if any, show that there is no genuine issue as to any
material fact and that the moving party is entitled to a judgment as a
matter of law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(c); Celotex Corp. v. Catrett,
477 U.S. 317, 322, 106 S.Ct. 2548, 91 L.Ed.2d 265 (1986); Diamond v.
Atwood, 43 F.3d 1538, 1540 (D.C.Cir. 1995). To determine what facts are
"material," a court must look to the substantive law on which each claim
rests. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248, 106 S.Ct.
2505, 91 L.Ed.2d 202 (1986). A "genuine issue" is one whose resolution