The US Court of Federal Claims has denied a motion filed by the US Postal Service seeking to dismiss a gender-discrimination suit brought by one of its own Headquarters executives. Beverly Martin, Program Manager for the National Performance Assessment (â€œNPAâ€) program, an EAS-25 position, claimed that she was passed over for promotion to Manager, Field Operations Requirements and Planning, a PCES position. The job went instead to Thomas Henry. Ms. Martin contends that as a result, she was paid less than Mr. Henry for a job that was identical to his in everything but the title- a violation of the Equal Pay Act.
Here’s the court’s summary of the complaint:
Plaintiff is a Native American woman who has worked for the USPS since 1981. From 2004 through March 28, 2008, she served as Program Manager for the National Performance Assessment (â€œNPAâ€) program in the Field Operations Requirements and Planning (â€œFORPâ€) division — a position ranked as â€œEAS 25.â€ From November of 2004 to July of 2005, Plaintiff served as Acting Manager, FORP, and earned the same compensation as an EAS-25 ranked employee. In that role, she oversaw six to 14 different FORP programs, including the NPA program. While working at the USPS, Plaintiff earned an annual salary of $80,902 in 2004, $89,194 in 2005, $98,336 in 2006, $103,207 in 2007, and $105,088 in 2008. Plaintiffâ€™s last day as Program Manager was March 28, 2008, but she fails to allege what her job title or duties were after that date.
Naoma Bourdon held the position of Manager, FORP, from July of 2005 to February 29, 2008, and during that period, oversaw six to 14 different FORP programs, including the NPA program. On March 1, 2008, Thomas Henry was named Acting Manager, FORP. On July 5, 2008, he was named Manager, FORP, and he assumed that position, which he continues to hold, on July 25, 2008. Plaintiff had applied for the position of FORP Manager but was not selected. As a result of her nonselection, she filed a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (â€œEEOCâ€) on or about October 6, 2008.
Plaintiff alleges that, because of Mr. Henryâ€™s gender, he received greater compensation for performing job duties substantially similar to those that Plaintiff performed. She further avers that his 2008 goals as Acting and Executive FORP Manager â€œwere nearly identical to, or encompassed fewer responsibilities thanâ€ her goals and duties between 2005 and 2008. Specifically, Mr. Henryâ€™s â€œmain and only responsibilityâ€ as Manager, FORP, was to manage and oversee the NPA program, which Plaintiff alleges was her â€œmain responsibilityâ€ as Program Manager.
Plaintiff alleges that despite the substantial similarity in their job duties, from July 25, 2008, to the present, the USPS has compensated Mr. Henry â€œat the higher-ranked and better paid PCES-1 level,â€ and that as of July 25, 2008, he earned an annual PCES-1 salary of $115,596.80 in his managerial role. In contrast, as Program Manager, Plaintiff earned $105,088 in 2008 and was compensated at the EAS-25 level, which did not include PCES-1 benefits, such as annual leave carry-over, paid life insurance, fully paid health insurance, or survivor benefits.
Plaintiff requests, inter alia, back pay in an amount â€œmore than $10,000â€ and seeks â€œpast and future economic damages . . . totaling the amount [she] would have earned at USPS from three years before the filing of this complaint, with interest, including salary and benefits at the PCES-1 level.â€ Plaintiff also â€œseeks the additional value of the five percent Thrift savings match that she would have received had she been compensated at the PCES-1 level.â€