The opinion of the court was delivered by: Stewart, District Judge:
Plaintiff Odell B. Day ("Mrs. Day") brings this employment
discrimination case under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (1988), and the Age
Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621-34
(1985), against Edward J. Derwinski, Secretary of
Veterans Affairs.*fn1 The plaintiff, a black woman, was
sixty-two years old when she was reassigned from her job as a
medical transcriber in the Radiation Therapy Department of the
Veterans Administration Bronx Medical Center ("the hospital").
She alleges the reassignment was motivated by race and age
discrimination. She seeks damages for lost wages in the amount
of $70,000., an undetermined amount in damages for lost
reputation, attorneys' fees totalling approximately $65,000.,
and a written apology.
A non-jury trial of three days was held. The following
constitutes our findings of fact and conclusions of law as
mandated by Rule 52 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.
Mrs. Day began working at the Bronx Veterans Administration
Medical Center on January 20, 1944. In 1954 she started working
in the Radiation Therapy Service. Her job title was Medical
Clerk/Typing, Grade 5, Step 10, at a salary of $18,070. Deft's
Exh. N. As a medical transcriber Mrs. Day typed the doctors'
dictated notes from audio tapes. During her employment at
Radiation Therapy Mrs. Day had achieved a certain status and
received certain privileges, including a private office with
the title "Research Coordinator" on her door. Tr. 107. As
research coordinator she coordinated everything between the
patient and the doctors. Tr. 11. It is undisputed that Mrs.
Day's performance was not only satisfactory but was rated
"excellent, outstanding, or far exceeded" at various times in
her employment, including the period just prior to her
reassignment. Tr. 14.
Mrs. Day's supervisor was Dr. Bernard Roswit, the Chief of
Radiation Therapy, until his retirement in 1983. Dr. Roswit had
been an active member of the cooperative cancer studies that
the VA had conducted, including preparing papers and
talks.*fn2 Tr. 162. After Roswit's retirement Dr. Hee Kyung
Song became the Acting
Chief of Radiation Therapy and plaintiff's supervisor.
On August 31, 1984 Mrs. Day received a memorandum signed by
Dr. Julius Wolf, the hospital's Chief of Staff, informing her
that she was being reassigned to Nuclear Medicine Service
effective September 16, 1984. The new position was the same job
title, at the same grade and step and same salary. Tr. 173,
Deft's Exh. N. At some time prior to the reassignment notice,
Dr. Song had informed Dr. Wolf that a medical clerk was no
longer needed in Radiation Therapy because of a decreasing
workload. Tr. 161. Dr. Song wrote a memorandum under Dr. Wolf's
signature to the Position Management Committee requesting that
the position of medical clerk be abolished. Tr. 162-63. Dr.
Wolf approved the request and forwarded it to the Position
Management Committee. Tr. 163. At a meeting on August 17, 1984,
the Position Management Committee granted the request,
recommending to the director of the hospital that the position
be abolished, and that Medical Administration Service absorb
the transcription workload. Tr. 164, Pltf's Exh. 11. The
director of the hospital approved the recommendation.
Id. In consultation with Dr. Wolf, the personnel office made
arrangements for Mrs. Day's reassignment to a new position in
the Nuclear Medicine Service. Tr. 169-70.
Upon receiving the reassignment notice, Mrs. Day immediately
went to see Dr. Wolf for an explanation for her sudden
transfer. Tr. 17, 171. Mrs. Day testified that she was
extremely upset, "hurt" and "humiliated" at not being notified
in advance of her reassignment, as if she had "done something
untoward."*fn3 Tr. 21, 54, 69. According to Mrs. Day, Dr. Wolf
said he knew nothing, except that "someone" gave him a memo and
he signed it. Tr. 17. Dr. Wolf testified that he indicated to
Mrs. Day that he felt the position was not needed in Radiation
Therapy and that there was a vacancy to be filled in Nuclear
Medicine. Tr. 172. He suggested that Mrs. Day could either take
this job or a lesser job. Tr. 17. Dr. Wolf then suggested that
she speak to someone in personnel. Id.
Mrs. Day spoke to Mr. Thorne in personnel, who informed her
that the memorandum requesting the abolition of her position
originated from Dr. Song, the Acting Chief of Radiation
Therapy. Tr. 17-18. Mrs. Day then approached Dr. Song, who
initially denied any knowledge of the transfer and
reassignment. Tr. 18. Dr. Song then suggested that "maybe it
was that memo you wrote on Ms. May."*fn4 Id.
Further, Dr. Song said Mrs. Day "walked out of a meeting"
with Dr. Song and Ms. May when the three were discussing the
confrontation between Mrs. Day and Ms. May in July. Pltf's Exh.
7. According to Dawson's report, Mrs. Day admitted she
"excuse[d] herself from this meeting," because she felt she was
now "the one being accused," and that Ms. May had been
"informed" by Dr. Song "how to respond to the situation."
Id. Dawson's report supports Mrs. Day's testimony that Dr. Song
referred to the confrontation with Ms. May as a reason for Mrs.
Day's reassignment.*fn5 Id.
Sixty percent of plaintiff's work in Radiation Therapy was
medical transcription, with the remaining time spent working
directly with patients and their kin. Tr. 12, 33-34. Estimates
of the amount of time that Mrs. Day spent doing medical
transcription ranged from less than one hour a day to two and
half to three hours a day. Tr. 129, Pltf's Exh. 11, Deft's Exh.
G. Mrs. Day testified that she spent "most" of her time on
transcription, approximately sixty percent. Tr. 33-34, 44.
Calculated on an eight-hour work day, that would be four and a
half hours a day.
The evidence showed that the number of new cases in Radiation
Therapy had been declining gradually since 1980. Deft's Exh. W.
There was no documentation presented regarding the number of
cases carried over from previous years, nor any ...