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Alexidor v. Donahoe

United States District Court, S.D. New York

March 2, 2017

BETTY M. ALEXIDOR, Plaintiff,
v.
PATRICK R. DONAHOE, Postmaster General, Defendant.

          Betty M. Alexidor Pro Se Plaintiff

          Brandon H. Cowart, Esq. Counsel for Defendant

          OPINION & ORDER

          KENNETH M. KARAS, District Judge

         Plaintiff Betty M. Alexidor (“Plaintiff”), proceeding pro se, brings this Action against Patrick R. Donahoe, Postmaster General (“Defendant”), alleging that the United States Postal Service (“USPS”) discriminated against her on the basis of her disability, race, sex, and national origin, and retaliated against her, all in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as codified, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as codified, 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112-12117.[1] Before the Court is Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56 (the “Motion”). (See Dkt. No. 100.) For the reasons stated below, the Motion is granted.

         I. Background

         A full factual and procedural history of the Action is recounted in the Court's September 30, 2016 Opinion & Order (“Opinion”), (see Op. & Order (“Opinion”) 2-7 (Dkt. No. 95)), and therefore, what follows is an abbreviated account of the relevant facts and procedural history subsequent to the Court's prior Opinion.

         A. Factual Background

         Plaintiff is an African-American woman who began working for USPS as a letter carrier in 2001. (Def.'s Local Rule 56.1 Statement of Undisputed Facts (“Def.'s 56.1”) ¶ 1 (Dkt. No. 107); Decl. of Betty Alexidor (“Alexidor Decl.”) ¶ 5 (Dkt. No. 110).)[2] Plaintiff suffered an on- the-job injury that resulted in her taking disability leave beginning July 17, 2008. (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 2; Aff'n in Opp'n to Def.'s Mot. for Summ. J. (“Pl.'s 56.1”) ¶ 5 (Dkt. No. 87).)

         Pursuant to the Department of Labor (“DOL”) Office of Workers Compensation Programs (“OWCP”), federal employees receive Federal Employee Compensation (“FEC”) benefits for disabilities due to personal injury sustained while in the performance of their duties. (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 4.) DOL forms CA-7 and CA-7a allow a worker to claim compensation for lost wages due to injury. (Id. ¶ 5.) The forms require the worker to specify the number of wage-hours she would have been working had she not sustained the injury. (Id.) To ensure her eligibility for FEC benefits for injuries sustained in performance of her work, Plaintiff was put on the Daily Roll and required to regularly submit updated CA-7 and CA-7a forms. (Id. ¶ 6.)[3]In the forms, Plaintiff was to identify the number of wage hours lost due to injury for each preceding work period. (Id.) Once Plaintiff submitted the forms, USPS management compared them to personnel records to confirm accuracy, (id. ¶ 7), and then submitted the forms to OWCP, (id. ¶ 8).

         On September 21, 2010, Plaintiff returned to work on a part-time basis, working a schedule of four hours per day, five days a week. (Id. ¶ 10; Pl.'s 56.1 ¶ 8.) For the remaining four hours per day, Plaintiff was on Leave Without Pay (“LWOP”) and was to be placed on the Daily Roll. (See Decl. of Aleta Rice (“Rice Decl.”) ¶ 4 (Dkt. No. 108).) Despite Plaintiff's return to work, OWCP erroneously kept Plaintiff on the Periodic Roll for the entire pay period of September 26 to October 21, 2010. (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 10.)[4] For each scheduled workday, Plaintiff received FEC compensation for eight hours a day, for the pay period from September 21 to October 23, totaling $2, 267.08. (Id. ¶ 11.) The USPS also paid Plaintiff for working 20 days during the pay period. (Id.) In other words, Plaintiff continued to receive workers' compensation benefits as if she had not returned to work, but was also paid wages during that time.

         Jean Breyer, Manager of Human Resources Management for the USPS's Westchester District, prepared forms CA-7 and CA-7a to correct the records to reflect that Plaintiff was on the Periodic Roll for September 22 to September 27, and that for the remainder of the pay period, Plaintiff was paid four hours per workday and on LWOP for four hours each day. (Id. ¶ 13.)[5]Plaintiff signed the forms and Breyer sent them to OWCP, (id. ¶ 14; see also Decl. of Brandon Cowart, Esq. (Oct. 29, 2016) Ex. 4, at 1208 (Dkt. No. 103)), but Breyer failed to include the back of the CA-7 form in her submission, (Def.'s 56.1 ¶ 15). On December 10, 2010, Breyer sent the full forms to OWCP. (Id. ¶ 16.)[6]

         On December 9, 2010, Plaintiff signed and submitted CA-7 and CA-7a forms for the November 6 to November 19, 2010 pay period. (Id. ¶ 17.) Breyer noted that Plaintiff had omitted six days of compensable time and added the omitted days to the CA-7a form before sending the forms to OWCP. (Id.) Plaintiff received FEC benefits for the pay period on December 17, 2010. (Id.)

         On February 3, 2011, Plaintiff submitted a CA-7 form for the pay period from November 20, 2010 to February 3, 2011. (Id. ¶ 19.) Plaintiff's submission failed to include a CA-7a form and thus was incomplete. (Id.)

         On March 19, 2011, Plaintiff and Breyer prepared CA-7 and CA-7a forms for all pay periods from November 4, 2010 to March 11, 2011, despite the fact that Plaintiff had already received benefits for certain periods within the timeframe. (Id. ¶ 20.) On April 8, 2011, Plaintiff received benefits for each pay period from December 2010 to February 2011, for which Plaintiff was eligible. (Id.)

         On April 18, 2011, Plaintiff filed an Equal Employment Opportunity (“EEO”) Complaint of Discrimination, alleging she was given “unreasonable accommodations and improper restoration” and that Plaintiff's supervisor “failed to return credits for seniority.” (See Decl. of Brandon Cowart, Esq. (Jan. 20, 2016) Ex. 42 (Dkt. No. 81).) Plaintiff's EEO Complaint was amended on May 20, 2011 to add a challenge to the Notice of Removal. (Id. Ex. 1, at ¶ 0269.)

         B. Procedural History

         Plaintiff filed her Complaint in the instant Action on December 13, 2011, alleging that USPS discriminated against her on the basis of her disability, race, sex, and national origin, and retaliated against her for prior EEO activity, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Americans with Disabilities Act. (See Dkt. No. 2.) Specifically, Plaintiff's Complaint alleges that she was denied a reasonable accommodation upon her return to work and was discriminatorily denied a Good Standing Letter, prevented from returning to her pre-injury route, and ultimately terminated. (See generally id.) Plaintiff ...


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