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Printemps-Herget v. Brennan

United States District Court, D. Oregon

September 19, 2019

ETHAN E. PRINTEMPS-HERGET, Plaintiff,
v.
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, Postmaster General of the U.S. Postal Service, Defendant.

          OPINION AND ORDER

          Michael W. Mosman Chief United States District Judge

         This matter comes before me on Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment [32]. Defendant claims Plaintiff failed to administratively exhaust all but one of his claims, and that the remaining claim presents no genuine dispute of material fact. I agree with Defendant except with respect to the claims pertaining to the specific incident of Plaintiff s termination from employment. As to those claims, I find that Plaintiff did exhaust his administrative remedies. Therefore, I GRANT in part and DENY in part Defendant's Motion.

         BACKGROUND

         On August 17, 2013, Defendant United States Postal Service ("USPS") hired Plaintiff Ethan E. Printemps-Herget to work as a temporary City Carrier Assistant ("CCA"). Schweiner Decl. [33] ¶ 8. Eventually, he was converted to a career position, subject to a ninety-day probationary period. Id.

         On September 24, 2013, Printemps-Herget filed an Equal Employment Opportunity ("EEO") complaint against USPS (the "September Complaint"), alleging disability and race discrimination. Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 6 at 9. A month later, he withdrew the complaint after mediation. Id.

         About one year later, beginning on August 22, 2014, Printemps-Herget stopped appearing for work. Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 2 at 2. According to USPS, he claimed that he was "unable to work due to stress." Id. On October 28, 2014, USPS informed him that his continued absence was without authorization, but, according to USPS, Printemps-Herget "refused contact from management and refused to come in for an investigative interview." Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 1 at 2; Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 2 at 2.

         On November 4, 2014, Printemps-Herget filed another EEO complaint against USPS (the "November Complaint"). Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 6 at 1. He alleged he was being subjected to "discriminatory harassment" as retaliation for filing the September Complaint. Id. In particular, he alleged the following incidents of harassment:

1. On unspecified dates, management publicly disclosed that he was on extended probation because of falsification;
2. On unspecified dates, management disclosed his medical information;
3. On an unspecified date, management delayed his uniform allowance;
4. On an unspecified date, he was transferred to another station; and,
5. On August 7, 2014, he was given a discussion in which the manager was abusive.
Id.

         On December 12, 2014, USPS notified Printemps-Herget that he would be terminated from employment effective December 13, 2014, for "[f]ailure to maintain your assigned schedule." Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 3 at 1.

         On March 12, 2015, Printemps-Herget sent a "PS Form 2564-A" to the USPS EEO Office alleging additional incidents of adverse treatment (the "March Complaint"). Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 3. Specifically, he alleged "disability and possibly retaliation," describing the relevant incident as his termination from employment at USPS. Id. at 1.

         On March 23, 2015, the USPS EEO Office ruled on the March Complaint. See Schweiner Decl. [33] Ex. 5. In their ruling, the EEO Office first described regulation 29 C.F.R § 1614.106(d) as one that "permits complainant's [sic] to amend a pending EEO complaint to add claims that are like or related to those claims raised in the pending complaint. There is no requirement that the complainant seek or receive counseling on these new claims." Id. at 1. The EEO Office then decided that the March Complaint should be treated as an amendment to Printemps-Herget's November ...


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