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BECKLER v. KREPS

June 25, 1982

Sandra J. BECKLER
v.
Juanita KREPS, Secretary of Commerce, United States Department of Commerce



The opinion of the court was delivered by: BRODERICK

MEMORANDUM

 Based on the evidence presented at trial, the Court makes the following findings of fact. Plaintiff, a woman, began working as an employee of the EDA on July 27, 1970 and continues to be employed at the EDA. On March 7, 1979, she filed a charge of discrimination with the Office of Civil Rights of the U. S. Department of Commerce. At that time, she was a program assistant in stenography for the Technical Support Division of the Atlantic Regional Office of the EDA and was classified at the GS-3-01-6 grade. In her charge, plaintiff alleged that she had been discriminated against on the basis of her gender and her religion (Jewish) in that she was frequently assigned tasks below her level of classification, skill, and ability. Plaintiff had also contended that she was, because of her gender and religion, not being considered for promotions for which she was qualified. A series of discussions between plaintiff and Department representatives ensued. As a result of these negotiations, Ms. Beckler's charge of discrimination was adjusted by an agreement dated November 13, 1974, by letter from Nathan L. Maryn, Special Assistant to the Deputy Assistant Secretary for the EDA, to the plaintiff, who co-signed the letter on November 22, 1974. Under the terms of the adjustment, EDA agreed to: (1) correct the position description for the plaintiff's job based upon its review of her duties, responsibilities, and supervision; (2) instruct her supervisors to "exercise judgment in their tone of voice when discussing work matters with you;" (3) give plaintiff "due consideration for promotion if warranted in your position or for any position under the Merit Promotion for which you are qualified and for which you appropriately file;" (4) give serious consideration to restructuring her work load and responsibilities in order to provide plaintiff with para-professional or non-clerical work responsibilities and to afford her an opportunity to participate in career developmental programs; (5) remove from EDA's in-house personnel files "any materials not necessary to the efficient management of the regional office;" (6) review plaintiff's performance and discuss it to provide plaintiff "guidance as to areas for improvement." (Exhibit P-1 at 3-4).

 The adjustment also provided that additional actions would be taken to benefit all EDA Regional Office employees. These actions included maintaining an aggressively positive equal employment opportunity program and reviewing EDA recruitment, training, and awards procedures in order to enhance equal employment opportunity. (Exhibit P-1 at 5).

 After the adjustment, plaintiff continued to work at the EDA regional office in Philadelphia. She subsequently sought several posts of higher grade but was not selected for these positions. On December 21, 1976, she filed a formal charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). The charge alleged, as does her complaint in this case, that she was rejected for these positions in retaliation for her earlier charges and that the EDA had not complied with the terms of the adjustment.

 In March, 1975, plaintiff applied for the position of "Project Technician" in the EDA Atlantic Regional Office, a GS-5/6 position. This job was a "bridge position," that is, a post that was designed to begin training the job-holder for future advancement with EDA. The concept of the bridge position envisioned the job holder beginning the post at a relatively low GS rank and salary, but acquiring job skills and experience that would allow for upgrading of the post or for promotion to higher ranked jobs within EDA. Plaintiff and several other applicants met the qualifications necessary for selection to the position. Geneva Corprew, a black woman, was selected for the job.

 In August, 1975, plaintiff applied for a position as an Economic Development Assistant, at the GS-301-4/5/7 level. She, along with many other applicants, possessed the qualifications necessary to be selected for the job. Robert Locke, a white man, was selected for the position.

 In September, 1976, plaintiff applied for a vacancy as a Computer Specialist at the GS-9 level. The EDA personnel office determined that she was not qualified for selection to the post because she did not meet the minimum time and grade requirements. Wayne Rhoda, a man with considerable computer programming experience, was selected for the job.

 In 1977, plaintiff was assigned to a detail in the Civil Rights Division of EDA. At that time, her grade level was GS-301-6, and she maintained this grade level while on assignment with the civil rights division. She remained on this detail until early 1978, and received good job performance ratings while on the detail. However, the detail was temporary and she returned to EDA's regional office in 1978. She was not promised a permanent position in the Civil Rights Division of EDA, and no such positions became available during the time of her detail with the civil rights division. During this detail, she performed primarily clerical work and data analysis that had previously been done by a secretary.

 In September, 1978, plaintiff applied for a position as a Technical Assistant Specialist (GS-7/9/11-OS/II-78-173). She was qualified for selection to the post, as were other applicants. Rita Potter, a woman with several years experience in the work, was selected for the post.

 In September, 1978, plaintiff applied for a position as a Public Works Specialist (GS-7/9/11-OS-II-78-186). There were several openings for public works specialists and many qualified applicants, including the plaintiff. Ms. Beckler was not selected for the position.

 In September, 1978, plaintiff applied for a position as a Construction Management Specialist (GS-7/9/11-OS-II-75-176). She, along with many other applicants, was qualified for the post, but was not selected.

 In November, 1978, plaintiff applied for a position as an Equal Opportunity Specialist (OS-II-78-263), a post for which she and many of the other applicants were minimally qualified. Elaine Young, a black woman with five years' experience in that division, was selected.

 During 1978, plaintiff also applied for the position of Financial Analyst (GS-160, 7/9/11, OS-II-78-187) but was found to lack the minimum ...


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