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Burrell v. Peake

August 18, 2008

ARROLENE C. BURRELL, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JAMES B. PEAKE, M.D., SECRETARY DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge

SCHEDULING CONFERENCE ORDER OF THE U.S. DEPARTMENT OF VETERANS AFFAIRS

Discovery Cut-Off: 05/01/2009

Non-Dispositive Motion

Filing Deadline: 05/15/2009

Dispositive Motion Filing

Date of Scheduling Conference. August 15, 2008.

Deadline: 06/01/2009

Settlement Conference Date: Parties to Contact SMS

Pre-Trial Conference Date: 8/17/09 11:00 Ctrm. 3

Trial Date: 9/29/09 9:00 Ctrm.3 (JT-10 days)

I. Summary of Pleadings

1. Plaintiff, Arrolene C. Burrell, was the Chief, Social Work Service, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Fresno, California. She brings this action against the Secretary of the VA pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. 2000e-16 alleging discrimination based on her race/color (African-American/Black) and reprisal, by forcing into retirement herself and all of the other African-American VA Service Chiefs without legitimate justification, demoting her from Chief Social Work Service to Social Worker, and replacing her with a person who was less qualified (Ph.D. from an unaccredited university), downgrading her performance rating, reassigning her position, denying her within grade increase, creating a hostile work environment and constructively discharging her and forcing her into retirement by denying her use of earned vacation pay and sick leave. She requests retroactive reinstatement and back pay, promotion to Chief, Social Work Service, pain and suffering damages, attorney's fees and costs of the litigation.

2. Defendant has denied the allegations, and contends that each of the challenged employment actions was legitimate, taken in accordance with law and based upon sound and proper exercise of discretionary judgment. Defendant denies that any employment action taken with respect to Plaintiff was discriminatory, retaliatory or pretextual. Defendant denies that it engaged in any disparate treatment based upon race or color or denies that Plaintiff encountered a hostile work environment. Defendant denies that any employment action taken with respect to Plaintiff was motivated by a prior protected activity. Defendant also denies that Plaintiff was constructively discharged or forced to retire.

II. Orders Re Amendments To Pleadings

1. The parties do not anticipate amending the pleadings at this time.

III. Factual Summary

A. Admitted Facts Which Are Deemed Proven Without Further Proceedings

1. Plaintiff is an African-American female who began working for the VA in 1975.

2. Beginning in 1993, Plaintiff's position with the Fresno VA was Chief, Social Work Service (GS-0185-13).

3. In 2000, the Social Work Service of the Fresno VA, along with other services and sections, was decentralized.

4. In 2004-2005, the Fresno VA reconstituted the Social Work Service.

5. On September 20, 2004, Plaintiff filed an informal EEO complaint.

6. In October 2004, the Fresno VA announced the position of Chief, Social Work Service.

7. On November 17, 2004, Plaintiff filed a formal EEO complaint alleging racial discrimination.

8. Plaintiff, among others, applied and was interviewed for the position of Chief of the reconstituted Social Work Service.

9. In December 2004, the Fresno VA selected Carolyn Hughes, a Caucasian woman, for the position of Chief, Social Work Service.

10. In February 2005, Plaintiff was assigned to work under the supervision of Ms. Hughes.

11. On February 23, 2005, Plaintiff filed a second formal EEO complaint.

12. In September 2005, Ms. Hughes provided Plaintiff with a thirty-day Performance Assistant Plan.

13. On October 25, 2005, Plaintiff retired from federal service.

B. Contested Facts

1. Whether Plaintiff Burrell was subjected to a hostile work environment, including ongoing ...


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