The opinion of the court was delivered by: GABRIEL GORENSTEIN, Magistrate Judge
Plaintiff Richard T. Fletcher, proceeding pro se, brings
this action pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title
VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e to 2000e-17, alleging that he was denied
overtime and otherwise retaliated against and harassed by his employer,
the United States Postal Service, on the basis of his race, color, and
national origin. Defendant John E. Potter, Postmaster General, has moved
for summary judgment pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 56.*fn1 Potter asserts
that Fletcher and the Postal Service reached a settlement agreement in
2001 which has been complied with, that Fletcher never exhausted his
administrative remedies as to certain claims, and that Fletcher's claims
fail on the merits. The parties have consented to disposition of this
matter by a United States Magistrate Judge pursuant to
28 U.S.C. § 636(c). For the following reasons, the motion is granted. I. BACKGROUND
Fletcher is an African-American male employed by the Postal Service as
a custodian at the Peter Stuyvesant Station. Declaration of Richard T.
Fletcher, undated (annexed to Plaintiffs Oppossition [sic] to Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment, filed April 8, 2004 (Docket #18) ("Pl.
Opp.")), ¶ 1; Defendants' Statement Pursuant to Local Civil
Rule 56.1, dated March 12, 2004 (annexed to Notice of Motion, filed March 12,
2004 (Docket #16) ("Notice of Motion")), ¶ 1-2. In November 2000,
Fletcher completed an Equal Opportunity Office ("EEO") "Information for
Precomplaint Counseling" form alleging discrimination based on his race
and national origin and retaliation for engaging in protected activity in
April 1997 and May 1998. See Information for Precomplaint
Counseling, dated November 20, 2000 ("Counseling Letter") (reproduced as
Ex. A to Declaration of Valerie E. Rooks, dated March 11, 2004 ("Rooks
Decl.") (annexed to Notice of Motion)). Specifically, he alleged that he
was being deprived of overtime hours that he should have been receiving
as a senior custodian but which were instead being assigned to more
junior personnel in particular, William Dudley, Jr. Id.
at 1-2. Fletcher agreed to participate in the Postal Service's
alternative dispute resolution process with respect to these issues.
See Agreement to Participate in Alternative Dispute Resolution
Process, dated November 30, 2000 (reproduced as Ex. C to Declaration of
Darrell K. Ahmed, dated March 11, 2004 ("Ahmed Decl.") (annexed to Notice
On January 11, 2001, a mediation was held among Fletcher; John
Condiles, the Manager of Customer Service at the Stuyvesant Station; Leon
Yeserski, a supervisor; Darrell Ahmed, a Dispute Resolution Specialist;
and Barbara Swartz, a trained neutral mediator and non-Postal Service employee. Ahmed Decl. ¶¶ 1-2, 8-9. Fletcher chose not to
have a representative appear on his behalf. Id. ¶ 8. As a
result of this mediation, which lasted approximately two hours, Fletcher
and Condiles signed a settlement agreement. Id. ¶¶ 10-11.
The agreement provided as follows:
I, Richard Fletcher, do hereby voluntarily
withdraw my request for EEO counseling or formal
complaint, as applicable, based on the
(1) The parties agree that Richard Fletcher is
entitled to overtime pay in the amount of 39
hours and 21 units.
(2) The parties agree to a labor-management
meeting to be held as soon as possible to
resolve the dispute about Monday overtime at
Peter Stuyvesant and Thompkins [sic] Square
Stations. Whatever resolution is made will go
from April 3, 2000 to the date the dispute is
EEO Settlement Agreement, dated January 11, 2001 ("Settlement
Agreement") (reproduced as Ex. B to Rooks Decl. and as Ex. D to Ahmed
Decl.), at 1-2.
By May 4, 2001, the Postal Service had reviewed Fletcher's overtime
assignments and awarded him additional overtime pay in the amount of 44
hours and 9 units, thus granting him 4 hours and 48 units more than
required under the first stipulation. Rooks Decl. ¶ 11.
B. Fletcher's Claim of Breach
On July 19, 2001, before the meeting called for by the second
stipulation had taken place, Fletcher sent a letter to the Postal
Service's EEO office claiming that the Settlement Agreement had been
breached because Condiles "refuse[d] to do the paperwork" pursuant to
that agreement and "owe[d] [Fletcher] for the 8-15 Mon[days]." Letter to
Victor Olmo from Fletcher, dated July 19, 2001 (reproduced as Ex. C to
Shortly thereafter, on August 28, 2001, a meeting was held pursuant to
the second stipulation to explain how Monday overtime opportunities at
the two stations were distributed. Rooks Decl. ¶ 13. At that meeting, Valeric Rooks, a Labor
Relations Specialist with the Postal Service, explained that Fletcher and
Dudley had different "designations" or "bid positions" which
refer to the specific location where an employee is assigned to work.
Id. ¶¶ 1, 4-5, 15-17. During the relevant period, Fletcher's
bid position required him to work only at the Stuyvesant Station while
Dudley's required him to work at both the Stuyvesant Station and the
Tompkins Square Station. Id. ¶¶ 4-5, 17. Under the contract
between the Postal Service and the New York Metro Area Postal Union of
the American Postal Workers, AFL-CIO, overtime assignments are given to
an employee who is designated to work at the particular facility where
the overtime work is needed. Id. ¶¶ 15-16. Thus, when
overtime custodial work is needed on a Monday at both stations, Dudley
would be called in to perform the overtime rather than Fletcher because
only Dudley is assigned to work at both stations. Id., ¶¶ 17-18.
By letter dated September 25, 2001, the Postal Service denied
Fletcher's July 19 complaint, noting that the meeting required by the
agreement had been held on August 28, 2001 and that "your allegation of a
breach of agreement does not conform to the facts in the record or
disclose that the issues in the agreement were not met." Letter to
Fletcher from James A. Connolly, dated September 25, 2001 (reproduced as
Ex. 13 to Plaintiff Exhibits Opposing Motion ("PL Ex.") (annexed to Pl.
Opp.) and as Ex. G to Rooks Decl.).
Fletcher appealed this determination to the Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). See Notice of Appeal/Petition to the
EEOC, dated October 18, 2001 (reproduced as Ex. H to Rooks Decl.). The
EEOC determined that Fletcher had received more than the stipulated
amount of back overtime pay and that
the settlement agreement does not provide that
[Fletcher] will receive overtime for all Mondays during the period April 2000
through August 2001. Thus, the Commission finds
that the agency did not breach item 2 of the
settlement agreement when [Fletcher] was not paid
for his expected Monday overtime during the
relevant time period. Accordingly, the agency's
decision finding no breach of the settlement
agreement is AFFIRMED.
Decision on Appeal No. 01A20359, dated February 20, 2002 (annexed
to Am. Compl. and reproduced as Ex. I to Rooks Decl.), at 1-2.
C. The Instant Complaint and Subsequent Filings
On April 15, 2002, Fletcher submitted the initial complaint in the
instant action to the Court's Pro Se Office. On November 25, 2002, Chief
Judge Michael B. Mukasey directed Fletcher to file an amended complaint
detailing all relevant facts and events and describing how his rights
were violated. See Order, filed November 25, 2002 (Docket #3).
In his Amended Complaint, Fletcher states as follows:
The United States Postal Service is not acting
like [an] Equal Opportunity Employer. Custodian
David William['s] bid at Peter Stuyvesant Post
Office is from 5:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m.
Monday-Friday lay off days Sat. & Sun. David
William was not on the job from Nov. 1999 or Dec.
1999 until June 2002. This is where my complaint
comes from. I should have had all overtime on
Mondays at Peter Stuyvesant P.O. I am [the] senior
custodian. United States Postal Service willfully
mislead[s] U.S.E.E.O.C. and United States
District Court N.Y. Southern District.
Am. Compl. at 4. Fletcher further alleges that overtime on his days
off Sunday and Monday is given to Dudley and Raymond
Kemp, who are junior custodians. Id. at 6. In addition, he
asserts that between February and June 2002, overtime was given to
custodians from the Madison Square Post Office. Id. Fletcher
also claims that supervisors Anthony Palazzo and Donald Grant falsify
"write-ups" in order to harass and terrorize him, creating a hostile work
environment. Id. at 6-7. On March 12, 2004, Potter moved for summary judgment on the grounds
that Fletcher's claims are barred by the Settlement Agreement, are
unexhausted, and are without merit. See Memorandum in Support
of Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment, filed March 12, 2004 (Docket
#17). The motion contained a notice warning Fletcher that any facts in
Potter's statement pursuant to Local Civ. R. 56.1 would be deemed
admitted if not controverted. See Notice to Pro Se Litigant
Opposing Motion for Summary Judgment, dated March 12, 2004 (annexed to
Notice of Motion).
Fletcher opposed Potter's motion, submitting a memorandum of law,
see Plaintiff's Memorandum in Oppossition [sic] to Defendant's
Motion for Summary Judgment, filed April 8, 2004 (Docket #19) ("Opp.
Mem."), and over 30 exhibits accompanied by some limited commentary as to
what those exhibits are and what they are offered to prove, see
PL Ex. Many of Fletcher's submissions contain material irrelevant to
Potter's motion. In any ...