780 F.2d 1559 (11th Cir. 1986), 84-8416, Moore v. Devine

Docket Nº:84-8416.
Citation:780 F.2d 1559
Party Name:Lawrence Ellis MOORE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. Donald DEVINE, Director of the Office of Personnel Management, et al., Defendants-Appellees.
Case Date:January 30, 1986
Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Page 1559

780 F.2d 1559 (11th Cir. 1986)

Lawrence Ellis MOORE, Plaintiff-Appellant,


Donald DEVINE, Director of the Office of Personnel

Management, et al., Defendants-Appellees.

No. 84-8416.

United States Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit

January 30, 1986

Page 1560

Richard H. Sinkfield, Atlanta, Ga., for plaintiff-appellant.

Myles E. Eastwood, Asst. U.S. Atty., Atlanta, Ga., for defendants-appellees.

Susan Murphy, E.E.O.C., Office of Gen. Counsel, Appellate Div., John Cordes, Dept. of Justice, and Marleigh Dover, Washington, D.C., for C. Thomas-E.E.O.C.

John Townsend Rich, Washington, D.C., for amicus curiae.

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia.


(Opinion August 12, 1985, 11 Cir., 767 F.2d 1541)

Before KRAVITCH and CLARK, Circuit Judges, and PECK [*], Senior Circuit Judge.

CLARK, Circuit Judge:

The appellees and the Lawyers' Committee for Civil Rights Under Law ("Lawyers' Committee"), as amicus curiae, have asked us to clarify Section III of our opinion in Moore v. Devine, 767 F.2d 1541 (11th Cir.1985). We held that a district court faced with a Title VII claim filed by a federal employee is not bound by a previously entered final Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") decision with respect to such a claim, whether favorable or unfavorable to the employee. We stated that the district court may independently determine in a trial de novo the merits of the employee's claim. Id. at 1549-1551 (captioned "Enforcement of the Final EEOC Order"). Upon now being better informed about the applicable federal regulations and case law, we find that they require that the district courts enforce final EEOC decisions favorable to federal employees when requested to do so. We therefore grant the government's Motion to Clarify and the Lawyers' Committee's Petition for Rehearing, and issue this opinion to clarify our previous discussion.

Page 1561

Nonetheless, because the EEOC order in this case is in large part unenforceable and because the employee, Lawrence Moore, requested that the district court hear the merits of his claims, we hold that the employee is not entitled to enforcement of the EEOC order in this case.

I. Background 1

On August 10, 1981, the EEOC issued a decision in which it found against Moore with respect to his claim of race discrimination in promotion but that Moore had been discriminatorily excluded from the Officer of the Day Program. The EEOC in the same decision concluded that it did not have sufficient information to determine whether Moore's job should be reclassified from grade level GS-13 to GS-14. The EEOC ordered the Office of Personnel Management ("OPM") to provide Moore with equal opportunities "to participate in all aspects of the job shared by other Executive level staff including but not limited to the Officer of the Day Project," Record at 51, and to conduct an audit comparing the functions of Moore's position with those of a GS-14 labor relations position. Id. at 50. The EEOC further ordered the OPM to "submit a plan outlining realistic steps that it [would] take to enhance [Moore's] upward mobility within the Atlanta area above the GS-13 level." Id. at 51.

On September 14, 1981, OPM notified the EEOC that it could not comply with the order because Moore had not been in its employ since his position was transferred to the EEOC in 1979 2 and because the Officer of the Day Program no longer existed. Due to the "impossibility or mootness of the ... ordered action," OPM considered the case to require no further action. Id. at 53-54.

Moore then filed suit against OPM and the EEOC in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia. In his amended complaint, Moore raised the same claims that he had presented to the EEOC, as well as others not relevant to the present discussion, and requested that the court "conduct a hearing on the merits of this action." Record at 83. Nowhere in his complaint did Moore mention the EEOC's order or request its enforcement. However, Moore did request enforcement of the EEOC order in Proposed Findings of Fact submitted to the court before trial. Record at 181...

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