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Estate of Schultz v. Potter

April 12, 2007

ESTATE OF ALBERT P. SCHULTZ, BONNIE SCHULTZ, REPRESENTATIVE, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN E. POTTER, POSTMASTER GENERAL, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Ambrose, Chief District Judge.

OPINION AND ORDER OF COURT

SYNOPSIS

Plaintiff filed a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on Enforcement. (Docket No. 38). Defendant has filed a Cross-Motion for Summary Judgment (Docket No. 43). The parties have responded thereto. After careful consideration of the submissions and based on my reasons set forth below, Plaintiff's Motion (Docket No. 38) is granted in part and denied in part, and Defendant's Cross-Motion (Docket No. 43) is granted in part and denied in part.

OPINION

I. BACKGROUND

The procedural history of this case is long and drawn out, originating over 15 years ago. As a result, the parties are well versed in the facts and I need not review them here. Suffice it to say that this case arises out of an alleged employment discrimination case. On September 13, 2004, the Merit Systems Protection Board ("MSPB") dismissed the entire matter based on timeliness. On July 22, 2005, the MSPB summarily affirmed the September 13, 2004, decision. The Complaint in this case was filed in response to the July 22, 2005, MSPB decision. The Complaint seeks enforcement of the prior relief granted by the MSPB and the EEOC in 1996, 1999, and 2001. Plaintiff, The Estate of Albert P. Schultz, Bonnie Schultz, Representative, and Defendant, John E. Potter Postmaster General, United States Postal Service, have resolved the majority of the case. The issues remaining involve back pay. (Docket Nos. 38 and 43).

The following are the issued raised by Plaintiff's Motion for Summary Judgment:

1. Is the value of fringe benefits payable? If so, What is the monetary value of fringe benefits payable?

2. On what date do back pay and benefits terminate?

3. If and when should workers compensation benefits offset back pay in the interest computation under the Back Pay Act ("BPA"), 5 U.S.C. §5596. (Docket No. 40, p. 3). "Defendant acknowledges that Plaintiff is entitled to back pay as ordered by the Merit Systems Protection Board ("MSPB")." (Docket No. 43, p. 1).

Plaintiff has "agreed not to pursue claims for additional damages, and for back pay and benefits for the period prior to February 24, 1992." (Docket No. 40, p. 2). According to Plaintiff, "[t]he full monetary value of benefits has not been paid for periods after February 23, 1992, and back pay has not been paid for the period after November 23, 1992." Id. The issues are ripe for review.

II. LEGAL ANALYSIS

A. Standard of Review

In mixed cases, the MSPB's decision concerning the discrimination issue is reviewed de novo, whereas its decision concerning the civil service issue is reviewed under a deferential standard. See, 5 U.S.C.A. ยง 7703(c). Defendant argues that because the parties have settled the underlying discrimination claim and the remaining dispute involves back pay, I should review the same under a deferential standard used in cases concerning civil service (non-discrimination) issues. (Docket No. 44, pp. 8-9). I disagree with Defendant. This case arises out of the discrimination ...


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