The opinion of the court was delivered by: Bua, District Judge.
Michael Powers has been employed by the FAA continuously
since August 30, 1981. During 1981, Powers participated in the
FAA Academy's training program for air traffic controllers. He
was notified on December 14, 1981, that he had failed Phase IV
of the training program. He was thereafter assigned to another
position within the FAA at a lower rate of pay.
On December 30, 1981, Powers filed a formal grievance within
the FAA alleging that he had failed the training program for
air traffic controllers because his training class had
received inadequate instruction. He requested that he be
"recycled," i.e., permitted to undergo air traffic controller
On February 23, 1982, the FAA grievance examiner responsible
for the initial review of Powers' grievance, Elmer Loudermilk,
recommended that Powers' request for recycling be granted.
Kenneth C. Patterson, the grievance official to whom the
grievance examiner submitted his recommendation in accordance
with the FAA's grievance procedures, rejected the examiner's
recommendation and concluded that Powers' grievance should be
denied. In an affidavit submitted in support of defendant's
motion for summary judgment, Patterson stated that he found
insufficient evidence to substantiate Powers' claim of
inadequate instruction. In addition, he stated that he did not
base his decision on the fact that Powers is a white male.
Paul K. Bohr, Director of the Great Lakes Region of the FAA,
subsequently reviewed Powers' grievance pursuant to FAA
grievance procedures and concluded that it should be denied.
In his affidavit, Bohr stated that he found no merit in
Powers' claim that inadequate instruction was the cause of his
training failure. In addition, he stated that he did not base
his decision on the fact that Powers is a white male. In
response to Powers' letter of May 19, 1982 challenging his
decision, Bohr denied Powers' request for reconsideration of
his grievance in a letter dated June 23, 1982.
On May 18, 1982, the day before he wrote to Bohr requesting
reconsideration of his grievance, Powers lodged an informal
discrimination complaint with Henry T. Rogers, the Equal
Employment Opportunity Counselor for the DOT in Chicago. On
June 29, 1982, Powers timely filed a formal complaint of
discrimination with the FAA. He cited as the basis for his
discrimination complaint the "[i]mproper and unfair handling
of an FAA Agency Grievance. . . ." In addition, he alleged:
"Minorities that show good reason to be recycled are given the
opportunity. It appears, that in this case there is good
reason, and I am being denied the right to be recycled because
I am a white male, rather than part of a minority group."
On April 6, 1984, the DOT issued its finding of no
discrimination in Powers' case. On May 1, 1984, Powers filed
his complaint in this case, alleging that the defendant
discriminated against him because of his "race (white) and sex
(male) in that minorities and females who show cause to be
recycled through the Federal Aviation Administration Academy
are so recycled, although he having shown cause to be recycled
Supported by affidavits of defendant's employees, FAA
records reveal that eleven individuals who failed the FAA air
traffic controller training program filed FAA grievances
seeking recycling during 1980 through 1983. Only one of those
eleven was recycled. The one individual who was recycled
through the grievance procedure was a nonminority male.
Powers does not allege that he was discriminated against in
the course of his training or instruction for the position of
air traffic controller. Rather, he alleges discrimination in
the FAA's rejection of his grievance claiming that he failed
his training course because of poor instruction.
1. Plaintiff's Motion and Local ...