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STANISLAUS v. STEORTS

December 10, 1981

JOHN STANISLAUS, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NANCY HARVEY STEORTS, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Shadur, District Judge.

MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

John Stanislaus ("Stanislaus") has filed a Title VII complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 2000e 16 against the federal government (Nancy Steorts is the named defendant in her capacity as Chairman of the Consumer Product Safety Commission, "CPSC") charging discrimination on grounds of national origin (Stanislaus is of Indian descent). In response the government has moved alternatively for dismissal or summary judgment. For the reasons stated in this memorandum opinion and order the government's summary judgment motion is granted.*fn1

Facts

Stanislaus, a chemist, applied for government employment in July 1978 for "any suitable job," leaving open his requested pay and grade level. Announcement 424, under which engineers, physical scientists and mathematicians register with the government for hiring by federal agencies, has established lists of such scientists eligible for GS 5 through GS-13 jobs in the CPSC Chicago Regional Area, comprising six states including Illinois.

Because of the death of one of its chemists July 24, 1978, CPSC's Chicago Regional Office (the "Office") began recruiting actively for an analytical chemist. It requested a list of eligible candidates at the GS 5 level from the Civil Service Commission (the "Commission"). Round one of the search produced no result, because four of the five persons on the Commission's initial list declined the offer and the other failed to respond.

In August 1978 a second certification was requested. Six names came back, including Stanislaus' (apparently his name had not reached the central listing at the time of the Office's unsuccessful original request). Only Stanislaus answererd the inquiry. After his interview with the laboratory director (coincidentally also a native-born Indian) Stanislaus was hired and began work October 23, 1978.

Some six months later, at Stanislaus' request, the Office of Personnel Management ("OPM") certified him as eligible for a GS-11 chemist position (that certification would enable Stanislaus to qualify for federal agency job openings at that level, if any were to develop). One such job possibility arose with the Department of Energy ("DOE") but no one was hired for that spot. Then on August 1, 1979 a DOE job opening appeared at the GS 7 level and DOE inquired as a to Stanislaus' availability. Stanislaus declined, writing DOE (emphasis added):

I am already offered GS-7 where I am.

I am well qualified for GS 9, 11 and 12.

  I will accept your offer at least at GS-9 level. I did not
  know when I first got job, that I could have demanded the level
  I deserved; I always thought one should always begin at entry
  level no matter what ones qualifications were. Please consider
  for GS 9 level at least.

In October 1979 Stanislaus sought OPM review of his job classification, represented by the same experienced counsel who has filed this action on Stanislaus' behalf. In February 1980 OPM determined that Stanislaus' present position was properly classified GS 7 (Stanislaus having been promoted to that level in the ordinary course, without reference to any claims or disputes on his part). Stanislaus appealed the OPM decision administratively. One of the questions asked on that appeal was (emphasis added):

  If you believe you were discriminated against by the agency
  because of either your race, color, religion, sex, national
  origin, material status, political affiliation, handicapping
  condition, or age, indicate so and explain why you believe it
  to be true

Stanislaus' counsel stated in ...


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