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Hayden v. Potter

September 29, 2010

GLEN D. HAYDEN, PLAINTIFF,
v.
JOHN E. POTTER, POSTMASTER GENERAL, UNITED STATES POSTAL SERVICE, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: John A. Houston United States District Judge

ORDER GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

[Doc. No. 30]

INTRODUCTION

Pending before the Court is Defendant's motion for summary judgment. The motion is fully briefed by the parties. After a thorough review of the parties' submissions, and for the reasons set forth below, this Court GRANTS Defendant's motion for summary judgment.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiff, Glen D. Hayden, is a United States Postal Service ("USPS") automotive technician or mechanic. See Notification of Personal Action, Def's Exh. A at 4. (Doc. No. 30-2). He began working for the USPS as a mechanic on May 14, 1994. Id. Plaintiff primarily worked at the Margaret Sellers Post Office ("MLS") during his time with the USPS. Hayden Depo. at 37, 38, 43, 45, Deft's Exh. B (Doc. No. 30-2). Plaintiff received awards, recognitions and outstanding supervisor evaluations during 1994, and 1995. Id. at 47 - 48.

In 1998, Plaintiff filed a claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") which resulted in a settlement. See Settlement Agreement Form, Def's Exh. V (Doc. No. 30-5). He filed a second complaint in 1999 which was dismissed after Plaintiff missed a deadline. Hayden Depo. at 26.

On June 30, 2000, supervisor Tony Esqueda overheard Plaintiff joking about not "enlisting in the Gay Rights Parade unless it was open season" and called Plaintiff into his office. See Letter of Warning, Pla's Exh. E. (Doc. No. 32-2). Plaintiff maintains Esqueda yelled at him and Plaintiff asked for a union representative for the meeting. See Hayden Depo. at 99. Esqueda issued a letter of warning for unacceptable conduct dated August 18, 2000. See Letter of Warning, Pla's Exh. E. Later, the union filed a grievance and the letter was removed from Plaintiff's file. See Hayden Depo. at 111. On the same day as the incident involving Plaintiff joking, Plaintiff returned to MLS and requested three hours of sick leave. See Letter of Warning, Def's Exh. C (Doc. No. 30-3). His supervisor, Roy Morgan, denied the request and asked for supporting medical documentation. Id. Plaintiff said he had no opportunity to see a medical professional because he recently started to feel ill. See Hayden Depo at 39, 40. Morgan issued a letter of warning for failure to follow instructions. Id. at 37. The union filed a grievance and the letter was subsequently removed. Id. at 41.

On September 13, 2000, Morgan spoke with Plaintiff about an allegedly unauthorized work order written by Plaintiff. See Notice of 7-Day Calendar Suspension, Def's Exh. E (Doc. No. 30-3). Plaintiff claims Morgan berated him in front of his peers and Plaintiff admits to calling his boss "an idiot." Id.; Hayden Decl. ¶ 7. Morgan issued a proposed 7-day suspension for unacceptable conduct/failure to follow instructions dated October 17, 2000. See Notice of 7-Day Calendar Suspension. The union filed a grievance and the notice was removed from his file in 2003. See Step One Settlement Agreement, Pla's Exh. I (Doc. No. 32-2).

Plaintiff was scheduled to work on July 4, 2001, however he left a voice mail message that morning stating that he could not work because of an emergency. See Hayden Depo. at 62. Plaintiff's emergency was a problem with his pond and expensive koi fish. See id. Morgan issued a notice of 7-day suspension for failing to report to work as scheduled dated July 31, 2001. See Id. The union filed a grievance, the notice of suspension was reduced to a letter of warning and Plaintiff received his pay for the day. See Notice of Seven Day Suspension, Pla's Exh. J (Doc. No. 32-2). The letter was eventually rescinded. See id. at 63.

In July 2001, Plaintiff's supervisor issued new work rules to decrease chatting in the workplace and a new rule to place work orders on his desk before employees took a break. See Hayden Depo. at 49 - 50. On August 21, 2001, Plaintiff and Stephen LaPuzza, a co-worker, were late for their scheduled break and Plaintiff placed his work order on top of his tool box.

id. at 50-51. Morgan issued letters of warning dated August 3, 2001 to Plaintiff and LaPuzza for failure to follow instructions. See Letter of Warning, Def's Exh. G (Doc. No. 30-3). The union filed a grievance and the letter was removed from Plaintiff's file on November 9, 2001. See iId.

On June 25, 2001, Plaintiff reported for jury duty at the San Diego County Superior Court. See Notice of Removal, Def's Exh. H at 1 (Doc. No. 30-3). On August 22, 2001, Plaintiff was told jury selection would begin on September 4, 2001 and that this process might take several days, and if chosen, many months because the case was complex. See id. Plaintiff reported for jury selection on September 4, 2001. See iId. Plaintiff did not report to work from September 4, 2001 to September 7, 2001, and did not call in. See id. Plaintiff mistakenly went in for jury duty on September 4, 2001 at 9:00 a.m. when his report time was 1:30 p.m.

Hayden Decl. ¶ 11. Plaintiff served the full day on September 5, 2001, and September 6, 2001, but was dismissed after a few hours on September 7, 2001. See Notice of Removal. Plaintiff returned to work on September 10, 2001, but he turned in an incomplete attendance certification sheet. Id.

Defendant issued a notice of removal for submitting false and misleading information for the sole purposes of obtaining approved leave and payment for time for Plaintiff did not work or serve as a juror. See Notice of Removal. The union filed a grievance and Plaintiff came back to work ...


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