JURY AWARDS TWO WHITE MALE FEDERAL EMPLOYEES $115,000.00 ON DISCRIMINATORY DENIAL OF PROMOTION CLAIMS
On January 17, 2002 an eight person jury in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia returned a $115,000.00 verdict in favor of Jerry Shadinger and Edward Zachary on their claims that they had been denied promotions and reassignment because of their race and sex in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act. The Defendant, the General Services Administration, is an Agency of the U.S. Government that provides support services for other federal agencies. The verdict came at the close of a four-day trial held before United States Magistrate Judge E. Clayton Scofield, III in the case of Shadinger and Zachary v. Barram, Civil Action No. 1:99-CV-1743.
Jerry Shadinger is a 61 year old white male who has worked for GSA since 1979 and is currently a GS-13 Deputy Chief Financial Officer in Atlanta. Edward Zachary is a 52 year old white male who has worked for GSA since 1984 and is currently a GS-13 Account Manager with GSA in Charlotte. Both claimed that they had been denied promotions or reassignment in 1997 and 1998 because the Atlanta Region of GSA had a de facto policy of according preference to women and minorities. They also claimed they had been discriminated against on the basis of their age.
The Jury found that Mr. Shadinger was not selected for the position of Supervisory Building Management Specialist, GS-14, in 1997 because of his sex. A white female had been selected for that position. The Jury also found that Mr. Zachary was not selected for the position of Building Management Specialist, GS-13 in 1998 because of his race and sex. A black female had been selected for that position. The Jury awarded Mr. Shadinger $18,000.00 in back pay and $47,000.00 in compensatory damages, and Mr. Zachary $50,000.00 in compensatory damages. The Jury found against the Plaintiffs on their age discrimination claims.
At trial, Plaintiffs presented evidence that a high manager of GSA’s Atlanta Region had made public statements that management intended to enhance the promotional opportunities of females and minorities within the Region in order to increase diversification in its work force and that he was subsequently praised in his performance appraisal because 60% of the promotions at GS-12 and higher levels during the appraisal period had gone to women and minorities.
Plaintiffs were represented in the case by Adam J. Conti of Adam J. Conti, LLC, a law firm that represents federal employees in employment related matters. The General Services Administration was represented by Assistant United States Attorney Alonzo Long. The Plaintiffs intend to ask Judge Scofield to enter judgment on the verdict, to direct GSA to cease from according females and minorities preference in competitive selections and to award Plaintiffs attorneys’ fees.