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ROBLES v. GOLDEN

August 26, 1986

Mariano Robles, Plaintiff,
v.
Terrence Golden, Director, General Services Administration, Defendant


Cannella, D.J.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: CANNELLA

OPINION CANNELLA, D.J.:

Following a nonjury trial on the merits, the Court finds in favor of defendant. Fed. R. Civ. P. 52(a).

 BACKGROUND

 Plaintiff Mariano Robles brings this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-5(f)(3), 2000e-16(c), alleging discrimination on the basis of race. Many of the facts and conclusions of law are undisputed. *fn1" In late 1984, Robles, an hispanic male, was an employee of the General Services Administration ["GSA"] at 26 Federal Plaza, and had been so employed since May 31, 1977. His most recent position was that of Air-Conditioning Equipment Operator, carrying a rating of WG-12. This was a nonsupervisory position. In June and July 1984 two vacancies became available for the position of Maintenance Foreman, which carries the grade of WS-10. These are supervisory positions at a higher level than Mr. Robles's current job.

 Mr. Robles was an unsuccessful applicant for these two positions. Robles is an hispanic male. The positions were filled by two white males. Eight males, including plaintiff, submitted applications for the positions. One was found not to be a GSA employee and thus not entitled to apply. Of the seven eligible applicants, five were white and two were hispanic.

 In accordance with paragraph 11 of the GSA Merit Promotion Plan in effect at the time, the Personnel Division assembled an Evaluation Panel to consider the applications of the seven applicants. Two were found to be not qualified and the remaining five to be "best qualified". Three of the five were graded above an arbitrary cutoff and two were below. However, the two with lower scores, Michael Rufano and Joseph Witkowski, were considered because their scores were very close to the higher three.

 On September 19, 1984, the names and applications of the five persons found to be "best qualified" were referred to the GSA's Office of Public Buildings & Real Property ["OPBRP"] for the Federal Plaza Field Office. The Personnel Division did not forward to OPBRP any information or evaluations generated by the Evaluation Panel, other than the fact that each of the five applicants had been found "best qualified".

 In accordance with paragraph 14 of the Merit Promotion Plan, Buildings Manager Frank J. Carbone, who is in charge of the Buildings Management Division with OPBRP, conducted interviews with each of the five candidates. Roger L. Fudge, Building Manager at 26 Federal Plaza, was also present at each interview. Lawrence Sausa, a Maintenance Foreman at 26 Federal Plaza, attended some of the interviews, including that of Robles.

 On October 5, 1984, Carbone selected Arnold F. Reuter and Joseph Witkowski to fill the two vacancies. That selection received final approval from the GSA shortly thereafter.

 Numerous legal conclusions have been agreed on by the parties. These will be discussed below. The only issue presented for trial was whether plaintiff could prove that the nondiscriminatory reasons given by defendant for not selecting plaintiff were mere pretexts for racial discrimination.

 The nondiscriminatory reasons put forth by defendant are twofold: first, plaintiff did not have adequate training in carpentry and the electrical trades, which were the skills most needed; and second, plaintiff did not demonstrate sufficient supervisory experience or ability. Plaintiff argues that his HVAC engineering skills were equally important to the job and that he did have supervisory experience.

 FINDINGS OF FACT

 During the relevant time period the OPBRP was organized as follows. Directly below Frank Carbone were three managers, one of whom, Roger Fudge, was solely responsible for Maintenance Operations. Maintenance Operations encompassed all of the "skilled trades" at Federal Plaza, including: (1) air conditioning equipment operators ["HVAC engineers"]; (2) electricians; (3) carpenters; (4) plumbers; (5) one locksmith; and (6) sometimes painters. Reporting to Mr. Fudge were four foremen. One foreman was Lawrence Sausa, the Air-Conditioning Equipment Operations Foreman, WS-11. The other trades were supervised by two Maintenance Foremen, WS-10, and one Assistant Maintenance Foreman, WS-9. Robles applied for the position of Maintenance Foreman.

 The announcements for the positions, written by the personnel department, describe the duties, ...


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