Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Bolden v. Ashcroft

September 19, 2007

JAMES O. BOLDEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN ASHCROFT, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Emmet G. Sullivan United States District Judge

MEMORANDUM OPINION

James Bolden alleges that the United States Marshals Service ("USMS") discriminated against him on the basis of his race, gender, and disability when the USMS denied him a promotion from the GS-7 to the GS-9 level in June 1998 and denied his request to work eight hours of overtime in August 1998.*fn1 Pending before the Court is defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment and plaintiff's Cross Motion for Summary Judgment and Leave to Amend/Reconsideration. Upon consideration of the motions, responses and replies thereto, applicable law, and the entire record, the Court grants defendants' motion and denies plaintiff's motion.

I. BACKGROUND

The Court previously detailed the factual background of this case in its July 15, 2005 Memorandum Opinion and Order. See Bolden v. Ashcroft, Civ. A. No. 03-1030 (EGS) (D.D.C. July 15, 2005) (Dkt. No. 50) ("July 2005 Order"). A brief summary of the facts pertinent to the pending motions is included below.

Pro se plaintiff James Bolden filed a complaint in this Court on May 9, 2003 against the USMS seeking in excess of $48 million plus costs and fees for alleged violations of Title VII, the Rehabilitation Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equal Pay Act, and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") and USMS regulations. In its July 2005 Order, this Court dismissed almost all of plaintiff's allegations, allowing only two claims to go forward: (1) plaintiff's claim concerning his non-selection for promotion in June 1998; and (2) plaintiff's claim concerning the denial of his request for overtime in August 1998. This Court held that plaintiff's other claims either were not administratively exhausted or did not constitute adverse employment actions.

As to the two claims that survived, plaintiff first claims that defendants discriminated against him based on his race, gender, and disability because the USMS did not promote plaintiff, a System Accountant, from a GS-7, step 7 level to a GS-9 level. Plaintiff alleges that two other System Accountants, Jared Martin (White male) and LaJuan Prince Williams (Black female) received promotions in June 1998 after receiving the same "acceptable" performance rating as plaintiff.

Plaintiff also claims that defendants discriminated against him based on his race and gender when his supervisor denied his request to work eight hours of overtime in August 1998. Plaintiff alleges that other System Accountants, Jared Martin (White male) and Joanne Choi (Asian female), were allowed to work hundreds and/or thousands of hours of overtime while plaintiff's request for overtime was denied.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Summary Judgment Standard

Pursuant to Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary judgment should be granted only if the moving party has shown that there are no genuine issues of material fact and that the moving party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 56; Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 325 (1986); Waterhouse v. Dist. of Columbia, 298 F.3d 989, 991 (D.C. Cir. 2002). The party seeking summary judgment bears the initial responsibility of demonstrating the absence of a genuine dispute of material fact. See Celotex, 477 U.S. at 323.

In determining whether a genuine issue of material fact exists, the court must view all facts in the light most favorable to the non-moving party. See Matsushita Elec. Indus. Co. v. Zenith Radio Corp., 475 U.S. 574, 587 (1986). The non-moving party's opposition, however, must consist of more than mere unsupported allegations or denials and must be supported by affidavits or other competent evidence setting forth specific facts showing that there is a genuine issue for trial. Fed. R. Civ. P. 56(e); Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324. Moreover, if the evidence favoring the non-moving party is "merely colorable, or is not significantly probative, summary judgment may be granted." Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249-50 (1986) (internal citations omitted).

Although summary judgment "must be approached with specific caution in discrimination cases, a plaintiff is not relieved of her obligation to support her allegations by affidavits or other competent evidence showing that there is a genuine issue for trial." Morgan v. Fed. Home Loan Mortgage Corp., 172 F. Supp. 2d 98, 104 (D.D.C. 2001), aff'd, 328 F.3d 647 (D.C. Cir. 2003) (citations omitted); see also Marshall v. James, 276 F. Supp. 2d 41, 47 (D.D.C. 2003) (noting that special caution "does not eliminate the use of summary judgment in discrimination cases") (citing cases). The Court views summary judgment motions in discrimination cases with the appropriate caution, but the Court cannot overlook a plaintiff's failure to submit evidence that creates a genuine factual dispute or entitlement to judgment as a matter of law. See Wada v. Tomlinson, Civ. A. No. 03-1488 (CKK), 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 34010, at *93 (D.D.C. May 9, 2007) (finding that even though the "special standard" applied to motions for summary judgment in employment discrimination cases is "more exacting, it is not inherently preclusive" of a grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants).

B. McDonnell Douglas Framework

Plaintiff claims discrimination under Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act. Title VII makes it unlawful for a federal government employer to discriminate "based on race, color, religion, sex, or national origin." 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-16(a). The Rehabilitation Act provides that "no otherwise qualified individual with a disability" may be discriminated against by a federal agency "solely by reason of her or his disability." 29 U.S.C. § 794(a).

Where there is no direct evidence of discrimination, the Court applies the McDonnell Douglas burden-shifting framework under which the plaintiff must first establish a prima facie case of discrimination. McDonnell Douglas Corp. v. Green, 411 U.S. 792, 802 (1973).*fn2 If the plaintiff successfully establishes a prima facie case, the burden shifts to the defendant employer "to articulate some legitimate, non-discriminatory reason" for the employment action and offer credible evidence supporting its claim. Id. Defendant only has the burden of production and "need not persuade the court that it was actually motivated by the proffered reasons." Tex. Dep't of Cmty. Affairs v. Burdine, 450 U.S. 248, 254 (1981). "The ultimate burden of persuading the trier of fact that the defendant ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.