Plaintiff brought suit in the district of the District of Columbia on December 22, 1982. The case was transferred here because venue was improper in the District of Columbia.
Plaintiff's complaint alleges that he was rejected for a position as a postal inspector because of his race in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq.
Defendant has moved for summary judgment, alleging that plaintiff's suit is time-barred. First, defendant contends that plaintiff did not comply with 29 C.F.R. § 1613.214(a)(1)(i), which requires that an alleged victim of discrimination report the allegedly discriminatory act to an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor within thirty days of the discriminatory act. Furthermore, defendant contends that plaintiff's suit is time-barred because it was not filed in federal court within thirty days of the plaintiff's receipt of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Office of Review and Appeals' denial of plaintiff's appeal.
The facts, as viewed in the light most favorable to the plaintiff, are as follows: Plaintiff was an employee of the Postal Service who applied for a position as Postal Inspector in 1978. According to the letter in response to plaintiff's application, the application was denied because plaintiff could not compete with the qualifications of the other applicants. Plaintiff returned to school for a M.A. degree and reapplied for the Postal Inspector's position in 1980.
On January 30, 1980, plaintiff received a letter from the Regional Chief Postal Inspector stating that plaintiff's overall qualifications were not competitive with other applicants being considered for the position. (Defendant's Exhibit 1).
Plaintiff did not contact an Equal Employment Opportunity Counselor until January 8, 1981. On February 9, 1981, the EEO Counselor conducted his final interview with the plaintiff. Plaintiff filed a formal complaint with the EEO Division of the Postal Service on February 15, 1981. On September 9, 1981, the EEO Division rejected the complaint as untimely because plaintiff had not contacted an EEO Counselor within thirty days of receipt of the letter of January 30, 1980. Plaintiff appealed this decision on September 24, 1981 to the EEOC's Office of Review and Appeals. On May 12, 1982, the Office of Review and Appeals sent to plaintiff its final decision which was dated March 30, 1982. That decision affirmed the agency's rejection of plaintiff's complaint. The decision also stated that the appellant was notified that the decision "is final and that the appellant has the right to file a civil action in the appropriate United States District Court within thirty (30) days of the date of receipt of this decision." It stated further:
If you choose to file a civil action, and you do not have or are unable to obtain the services of a lawyer, you may request the court to appoint a lawyer to represent you. In such circumstances as the court may deem just, the court may appoint a lawyer for you and may authorize the commencement of the action without the payment of fees, costs or security. Any such request must be made within the above referenced thirty day time limit and in such form and manner as the court may require.