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UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF CONNECTICUT

 J ESS ESS FRI FRI EDM EDMAN, Pl ai nt i f f , v. UNI TED STATES POSTAL POSTAL SERVI SERVI CE  J OHN E. POTTER POTTER,, POST POSTM MASTER ASTER GENERAL, ENERAL, Def enda endant nt .

: : : : : : : : : : : : :

No. 3: 08- CV- 00913 ( DJ S)

 MEMORANDUM  MEMORANDUM OF OF DECISION DECISION AND AND ORDER ORDER

 The pl ai nt i f f , J ess Fr i edman, br i ngs ngs t hi s act i on agai nst t he def endant , t he Uni t ed St at es Post Post al Ser vi ce ( “US “USPS”) , al l egi ng t hat i t di scri mi nat ed agai nst hi m on acco ccount of hi s di s ab abi l i t y i n vi ol at i on of t he Amer i c an ans wi t h Di s ab abi l i t i es Ac Ac t of 1990 ( “A “AD DA”) , 42 U. S. C. §§ 12101 et seq. seq. , and and t he Rehabi l i t at i on Act of 1973, 29 U. S. C. § 70 701 et seq. seq.

Fr i edman

al so al l eges t hat t he USPS r et al i at ed agai nst hi m f or havi ng par t i ci pat ed i n com compl ai nt s of of unl awf ul empl oyment di scr i mi nat i on f i l ed wi t h t he Eq Equal Empl oym oyment ent Oppor t uni t y Com Commi ss i on ( “EEO “EEOC”) i n vi ol at i on of Ti t l e VI I of t he Ci vi l Ri ght s Ac Ac t of o f 1964 ( “ Ti Ti t l e VI I ” ) , 42 U. S. C. § § 20 2000e et s eq eq. i nvoke voked d pur suan suant t o 28 U. S. C. § 13 1331. Mot i on f or Sum Summar y J udgment .

J ur i s di di c t i on i s

Now at bar i s t he USPS PS’’ s

For For t he f ol l owi ng r eason asons, t he

mot i on ( dkt . # 26) i s GR GRANTED TED.

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I. BACKGROUND 1

 The USPS has sever al t ypes of l et t er car r i er posi t i ons, t wo of whi ch ar e r el evant her e — “Car r i er Techni ci an, ” 2  and “Unassi gned Regul ar . ” 3

These di f f er i n t wo r espect s:

Fi r st , a

Car r i er Techni ci an ear ns appr oxi mat el y $1, 000 mor e per year t han an Unassi gned Regul ar .

Second, a Car r i er Techni ci an onl y

del i ver s mai l on one of f i ve pr edet er mi ned del i ver y r out es whi ch ar e assi gned t hr ough a seni or i t y- based bi ddi ng pr ocess, whi l e an Unassi gned Regul ar del i ver s mai l on any open r out e chosen dai l y by or der of seni or i t y. Si nce 1986, Fr ei dman has wor ked f or t he USPS as a l et t er car r i er .

I n 1994, he secur ed a Car r i er Techni ci an’ s assi gnment

at t he Post Of f i ce i n Hamden, Connect i cut ( “Hamden”) . I n 2001, Fr ei dman f i l ed an unspeci f i ed compl ai nt wi t h t he EEOC agai nst Hamden’ s manager s and super vi sor s.

Pr i or t o 2006,

he al so occasi onal l y assi st ed ot her Hamden empl oyees i n f i l i ng ot her unspeci f i ed EEOC compl ai nt s agai nst t he USPS. I n 2002, Fr ei dman was di agnosed wi t h l at er al epi condyl i t i s 4 t o hi s l ef t el bow and under went a ser i es of sur gi cal pr ocedur es. He r et ur ned t o wor k l at er t hat year , but onl y t o per f or m l i mi t ed 1

  Unl ess ot her wi se not ed, t he f ol l owi ng i s dr awn f r om t he par t i es’ submi ssi ons r el at i ng t o t he mot i on at bar . 2   A Car r i er Techni ci an i s al so r ef er r ed t o as “Ci t y Let t er Car r i er , Gr ade Two, ” or as a “T- 6. ” 3   An Unassi gned Regul ar i s al so r ef er r ed t o as “Ci t y Let t er Car r i er , Gr ade One. ” 4   Lat er al epi condyl i t i s — col l oqui al l y known as “t enni s el bow” — i s a chr oni c degener at i ve j oi nt condi t i on.

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t asks on a r educed schedul e.

Hi s l i mi t ed r et ur n t o wor k was

appr oved by t he U. S. Depar t ment of Labor ’ s Of f i ce of Wor ker s’ Compensat i on Pr ogr ams ( “OWCP”) , and he was t her eaf t er r equi r ed t o submi t r epor t s on hi s el bow condi t i on t hr ee t i mes per year . I n 2005, Fr ei dman was al so di agnosed wi t h l at er al epi condyl i t i s t o hi s r i ght el bow.

Over al l , hi s el bow condi t i on

appear s t o have af f ect ed hi s abi l i t y to per f or m cer t ai n househol d mai nt enance t asks, t o pl ay r ecr eat i onal spor t s, and t o dr i ve.

He can, however , l i f t obj ect s of t en t o f i f t een pounds.

I n 2007, t he USPS i nspect ed al l of Hamden’ s mai l del i ver y r out es.

Consequent l y, one mai l del i ver y r out e was el i mi nat ed.

 That r out e had been assi gned t o a seni or l et t er car r i er who, as a r esul t of t he el i mi nat i on, was l ef t wi t hout a j ob.

Thi s

seni or car r i er , however , al so became ent i t l ed t o t akeover any r out e assi gned t o a car r i er wi t h l ess seni or i t y.

As a r esul t ,

al l car r i er s wi t h l ess seni or i t y — i ncl udi ng Fr i edman — wer e r equi r ed t o r e- bi d ( i . e. , r e- appl y) f or t hei r as s i gned r out es i n or der t o avoi d pot ent i al t akeover by t he seni or car r i er . Fr ei dman r e- bi d f or hi s pr i or assi gnment , whi ch he successf ul l y r et ai ned. Fr ei dman’ s uni on and t he USPS ar e bound by a Memor andum of Under st andi ng whi ch pr ovi des as f ol l ows: A r egul ar l et t er car r i er who i s t empor ar i l y di sabl ed wi l l be al l owed t o bi d f or and be awar ded a l et t er car r i er bi d assi gnment . . . pr ovi ded t hat t he l et t er

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car r i er wi l l be abl e t o assume t he posi t i on wi t hi n si x ( 6) mont hs f r om t he t i me at whi ch t he bi d i s pl aced. Management may, at t he t i me of submi ss i on of t he bi d or at any t i me t her eaf t er , r equest t hat t he l et t er c ar r i er pr ovi de medi c al c er t i f i c at i on i ndi c at i ng t hat t he l et t er c ar r i er wi l l be abl e t o per f or m t he dut i es of t he bi d- f or posi t i on wi t hi n si x (6) mont hs of t he bi d. I f t he l et t er car r i er f ai l s t o pr ovi de s uch cer t i f i cat i on, t he bi d s hal l be di s al l owed, and, i f t he assi gnment was awar ded, i t shal l be r epost ed f or bi ddi ng. Under such ci r cumst ances, t he l et t er car r i er shal l not be per mi t t ed t o r e- bi d t he next post i ng of t hat assi gnment . ( Dkt . # 26- 5, p. 91. )

Pur suant t o t hese pr ovi si ons, USPS

manager s are ent i t l ed t o i ssue l et t er s — col l oqui al l y known as “ Bur r i s l et t er s ” — r eques t i ng t he medi c al c er t i f i c at i on i n quest i on. Af t er t he 2007 r out e i nspect i on, Chr i st opher Roger s — Hamden’ s manager — i ss ued Bur r i s l et t er s t o ni ne empl oyees. Each r eci pi ent : ( 1) was on l i ght or l i mi t ed dut y; and ( 2) secur ed or r et ai ned an ass i gnment t hr ough t he bi ddi ng pr ocess af t er t he 2007 r out e i nspect i on.

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One of t hese ni ne Bur r i s

l et t er s, dat ed May 7, 2007, was i ss ued t o Fr ei dman. 26- 5, p. 98. )

( See dkt . #

Fr ei dman di d not r espond.

On J une 14, 2007, Roger s sent Fr ei dman a f ol l ow- up l et t er s t at i ng:  You r ecei ved a l et t er dat ed May 7, 2007 r equest i ng t hat you pr ovi de t hi s of f i ce by May 21, 2007 wi t h medi cal cer t i f i cat i on i ndi cat i ng you woul d be abl e t o 5

  Roger s had pr evi ousl y i ssued Bur r i s l et t er s t o empl oyees meet i ng t he same cr i t eri a subsequent t o an i nspect i on conduct ed i n 2003 or 2004.

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f ul l y per f or m t he dut i es of t he wi t hi n si x ( 6) mont hs of t he bi d.

bi d- f or - pos i t i on

 You f ai l ed t o pr ovi de t hi s of f i ce wi t h t he r equest ed i nf or mat i on; t her ef or e j ob # 6118702 wi l l go back up f or bi d i n t he next car r i er bi ddi ng cycl e. Begi nni ng on J une 30, 2007 you wi l l be car r i ed on t he r ol l s as an unassi gned r egul ar . Your dut y hour s ar e 7: 30 a. m. - 16: 00 p. m. Your nonschedul ed days wi l l be Sunday/ Wednesday. ( Dkt . # 26- 5, p. 100. )

I n a l et t er dat ed J une 15, 2007,

Fr ei dman r esponded as f ol l ows: I have appr oxi mat el y 21 year s i n t he USPS. I have been on my cur r ent f l oat i ng ass i gnment si nce appr oxi mat el y 1994. I have had an appr oved compensat i on case wher e I have r equi r ed l i mi t ed dut y si nce 2002. The post al ser vi ce has accommodat ed my r est r i ct i ons si nce t hat t i me. Now, because management has r ecent l y abol i shed r out e 1413 ( t he r out e of a seni or car r i er ) , I was f or ced t o bi d an assi gnment . As you know, I bi d t he same f l oat i ng assi gnment back t hat I have hel d si nce 1994. My updat ed medi cal document at i on i s cur r ent and dat ed 3/ 28/ 07. For sever al year s, i t has been an accept ed pr act i ce t o get updat ed appr oxi mat el y ever y t hr ee or f our mont hs. I , t her ef or e, have not f ai l ed, as you st at e, to pr ovi de your of f i ce wi t h r equest ed i nf or mat i on. Si nce my doct or i s not goi ng t o l i e or mi sl ead by sayi ng I woul d be abl e t o f ul l y per f or m t he dut i es of t he bi d posi t i on, I don’ t know what ot her i nf or mat i on you ar e l ooki ng f or . Si nce t hi s was not a vol unt ar y bi ddi ng, but r at her mandat or y, I f eel t her e i s no r eason at al l t o t ake away my bi d assi gnment . Thi s i s ver y upset t i ng t o me. I f eel your act i ons ar e r et al i at or y and di scri mi nat or y based on my physi cal l i mi t at i ons. I f you do not r es ci nd t hi s l et t er , I wi l l be f or c ed t o f i l e a gr i evance and EEO Compl ai nt , as wel l as seek pr ot ect i on under t he [ U. S. Mer i t Syst ems Pr ot ect i on Boar d] f or my accept ed and appr oved OWCP cl ai m, speci f yi ng my medi cal r est r i ct i ons.

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t her ef or e wi t hout st andi ng.

Accor di ngl y, t he USPS’ mot i on must

be gr ant ed. III. CONCLUSION

For t he f or egoi ng r easons, t he USPS’ s Mot i on f or Summar y  J udgment (dkt.#

26) i s GRANTED.

J udgment i n f avor of t he

def endant , t he Uni t ed St at es Post al Ser vi ce, shal l ent er on al l c l ai ms i n t he c ompl ai nt .

The c l er k s hal l c l os e t hi s f i l e.

SO ORDERED t hi s 28t h day of J ul y, 2011.

 __________/s/DJS____________  DOMINIC J. SQUATRITO UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

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