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Warren Gladden v. Hilda Solis

June 9, 2011

WARREN GLADDEN,
PLAINTIFF
v.
HILDA SOLIS, SECRETARY
UNITED STATES DEPARTMENT
OF LABOR DEFENDANT



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stengel, J.

MEMORANDUM

This is an employment discrimination case filed by Warren Gladden, who claims he was discriminated against on the basis of his race and his age when he applied for but did not receive a position with the United States Department of Labor (ADOL@) as an Equal Opportunity Specialist. Because Mr. Gladden=s complaint and the exhibits thereto establish that he does not have a plausible claim for relief, I will grant the motion to dismiss filed by the defendant.

I. BACKGROUND

Mr. Gladden filed his complaint against the DOL on November 11, 2010. The defendant filed a motion to dismiss on January 14, 2011, and Mr. Gladden filed his response on March 19, 2011.

Mr. Gladden=s complaint alleges the following: he is an African American man over the age of 40. Compl. & 7, 8. On January 23, 2008, two vacancy announcements were issued seeking to fill two Equal Opportunity Specialist positions with the DOL. Id. at & 23(a) (citing Announcements PH-DEA-08-035 and PH-08-047).*fn1 The major duties of the positions were described as follows:

The primary purpose of this position is to assure uniformity and [consistency] in all technical [aspects] of compliance reviews, complaint investigations and other related activities, as well as to oversee regional adherence to Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs policy, procedures, directives, etc.

- Plans and makes recommendations for regionwide compliance reviews, investigations and enforcement priorities.

- Makes recommendations for disposition or other actions on investigations, conciliation agreements, and administrative enforcement actions.

- Plans, develops, coordinates and administers Regional policies and procedures, and serves as the Regional technical expert on operations issuances, policies, etc.

- Serves as operational link between the Regional office, District and Area Office and the Office of the Solicitor.

Complaint & 23(a), Attachment 3 to Complaint. The vacancy announcement further indicated that Aapplicants must have 52 weeks of specialized experience@ and defined specialized experience as: experience that equipped the applicant with the particular knowledge, skills, and abilities to perform successfully the duties of the position, and that is typically in or related to the work of the position to be filled. Some examples of specialized experience include: Evaluating, investigating, monitoring, and identifying systematic [sic] discrimination and equal opportunity compliance activity as well as conducting complex reviews, negotiations, and developing compliance agreements. Experience analyzing employment practices, determining whether those practices discriminate against protected group members, and investigating complex pattern and/or practice discrimination complaints.

Id. at & 24(a), Attachment 3 to Complaint.

Mr. Gladden applied for both positions on February 6, 2008. Compl. & 28. He holds a BS in Physics and an MS in Electrical Engineering and a Master=s certificate in Technology Management. Id. at & 21(b). In the additional information section of his resume, Mr. Gladden Adocumented his unpaid EEO experience@ in two paragraphs. See Attachment 4 to Compl., p. 4 of 8. Mr. Gladden described two experiences in this section of his resume: first, he filed a claim against his former employer with the Alocal Human Rights Commission.@ Id. In pursuing this claim, he investigated and identified Adiscrimination issues related to [his] complaint,@ and Acompiled supporting cases for [his] attorney.@ Id. Second, Mr. Gladden described his actions over a two year period in which he had been seeking employment with both the federal government and private employers. He explained that A[e]xercising my rights as an applicant to ensure that my applications have been processed in compliance with Title VII has led me to engage in the EEO complaint process with several federal agencies.@ Id. During this process, he did extensive research on employment discrimination decisions and pursued his investigations Avia email communications and FOIA requests.@ Id.

Mr. Gladden=s applications were reviewed by Sandra Flores, a Human Resources specialist who worked with a selecting official to fill the vacancies. Compl. at & 24(b). He received an email from Ms. Flores on February 8, 2008, informing him that he did not qualify for the PH-08-047 position and that Ahe did not qualify for the position because [he] did not meet the specialized experience described in the vacancy announcement and/or the qualification requirements[.]@ Id. at & 31; Attachment 5 to Compl. Mr. Gladden subsequently exchanged a number of emails with Ms. Flores in which he inquired about the score his application had received based ...


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