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Murray v. Gilmore

United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit

February 16, 2005, Argued ; May 6, 2005, Decided

No. 04-7027


 [*709]   [**373]  TATEL, Circuit Judge: Appellant, an employee of the D.C. Housing Authority, ostensibly lost her job as part of a "reduction in force" undertaken by the Authority's court-appointed receiver. After unsuccessfully pursuing her administrative remedies, she sued the receiver in his personal and official capacities, alleging wrongful termination in violation of the District's Comprehensive Merit Personnel Act, race discrimination in violation of Title VII and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, sex discrimination in violation of Title VII, and deprivation of due process in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983. The district court granted summary judgment to the receiver on all claims except the due process one against him in his official capacity, which the court dismissed without prejudice. Following the district [***2]  court's denial of her motion to reinstate the due process claim, appellant filed this appeal. We now reverse the grant of summary judgment to the receiver with regard to the Title VII sex discrimination claim against him in his official capacity, but affirm in all other respects.

In 1995, under the auspices of Judge Graae of the D.C. Superior Court, the D.C. Department of Public and Assisted Housing entered into a settlement agreement to resolve a lawsuit brought by plaintiffs seeking structural reform of the agency. Known as the Pearson Order, the agreement [*710]   [**374]  provided that the court would appoint a receiver to run the agency for at least three years and gave the receiver significant power to restructure the agency's personnel. Pearson v. Kelly, No. 92-14030 (D.C. Super. Ct. May 18, 1995). In part, the order provided:

As to employees who are not subject to collective bargaining agreements, during the transition from the start-up of the receivership to the implementation of such personnel policies as the receiver shall institute, such employees' rights as to benefits, compensation, and termination (except as stated herein) shall be governed by the Comprehensive [***3]  Merit Personnel Act, D.C. Code § 1-601.01 et. seq. Upon the establishment by the receiver of published personnel policies for the governing of employees who are not subject to collective bargaining agreements, these employees shall be subject solely to the personnel policies the receiver shall institute governing the employees' benefits, compensation and termination. The personnel policies established by the receiver for employees who are neither at will employees, employees in their probationary period, nor subject to collective bargaining agreements ("permanent managerial civil service employees"), shall provide that these employees shall not be terminated except for cause or misconduct or for non-performance of duty or due to abolition of their position (as these terms are defined by the receiver in the published personnel policies).

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406 F.3d 708 *; 365 U.S. App. D.C. 372 **; 2005 U.S. App. LEXIS 7849 ***; 95 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 1298; 87 Empl. Prac. Dec. (CCH) P42,161


Prior History:  [***1]  Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. (No. 99cv00361).

Murray v. Gilmore, 226 F. Supp. 2d 179, 2002 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18405 (D.D.C., 2002)


employees, receiver, positions, public information, sex discrimination, infer, termination, replaced, reasonable jury, due process claim, district court, pretext, prima facie case, summary judgment, race discrimination, official capacity, recommendation, preclusion, reinstate, ranked, fired, personnel policy, protected class, public affairs, eliminated, pretextual, hired

Civil Procedure, Appeals, Appellate Jurisdiction, Final Judgment Rule, Reviewability of Lower Court Decisions, Timing of Appeals, Pleadings, Amendment of Pleadings, Relation Back, Governments, Legislation, Statute of Limitations, General Overview, Standards of Review, De Novo Review, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Civil Rights Law, Protection of Rights, Section 1983 Actions, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, Burdens of Production, Contractual Relations & Housing, Equal Rights Under the Law (sec. 1981), Proof of Discrimination, Protected Classes, Labor & Employment Law, Evidence, Burden Shifting, Discrimination, Reconstruction Statutes, Administrative Law, Agency Adjudication, Decisions, Collateral Estoppel, Preclusion of Judgments, Estoppel, Judgments, Healthcare Law, Business Administration & Organization, Employment Issues, Employment Discrimination, Summary Judgment, Racial Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Title VII Discrimination, Amendments, Gender & Sex Discrimination, Scope & Definitions, Employment Practices, Discharges, Reassignments & Transfers, Employee Burdens, Employee Burdens of Proof