89 T.C. 632 (1987), 36665-85, Thompson v. C.I.R.

Docket Nº:Docket Number 36665-85
Citation:89 T.C. 632
Opinion Judge:SCOTT, JUDGE:
Party Name:DOROTHY M. THOMPSON, Petitioner v. COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent
Attorney:Nora A. Bailey, for the petitioner. Clement Shugerman, for the respondent.
Case Date:September 21, 1987
Court:United States Tax Court
 
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89 T.C. 632 (1987)

DOROTHY M. THOMPSON, Petitioner

v.

COMMISSIONER OF INTERNAL REVENUE, Respondent

Docket Number 36665-85

United States Tax Court

September 21, 1987

         Petitioner was the lead plaintiff in a class action sex discrimination suit filed against the Public Printer under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972 and the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. section 206(d). In 1982 she was awarded back pay under the Equal Pay Act on the basis that her work was similar to and required skill, effort and responsibility substantially equal to that required for the bookbinders jobs performed by males. The measure of the back pay owing to her but withheld was the difference in the wages paid to bookbinders and the wags paid to her. In 1982 petitioner was also awarded liquidated damages under the Equal Pay Act.

         HELD, the amount received by petitioner as back pay was not damages for a personal injury but wages due for an action in the nature of breach of contract and therefore the back pay award is not excludable from petitioner's taxable income under section 104(a)(2).

         HELD, FURTHER, the liquidated damages award received by petitioner was in the nature of damages for a personal injury and as such is excludable from her taxable income under section 104(a)(2).

          Nora A. Bailey, for the petitioner.

         Clement Shugerman, for the respondent.

         SCOTT, JUDGE:

         Respondent determined a deficiency in petitioner's Federal individual income tax for 1982 in the amount of $31,339.85. By amendment to petition filed January 9, 1987 petitioner seeks a refund of a portion of the taxes paid. The issues for decision are:

         (1) whether a back pay award in the amount of $66,795.19, received by petitioner pursuant to the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. section 206(d) (1976) ( ‘ Equal Pay Act‘ ) and Title VII of the Civil

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Rights Act of 1964, as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1972, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-2, et seq. (‘ Title VII‘ ) in a suit against the Public Printer is excludable from income under section 104(a)(2) [1] as ‘ damages received for personal injuries‘ ; and (2) whether an award of liquidated damages in the amount of $66,135.27 received by petitioner pursuant to the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. section 216(b), as a result of this suit is excludable from income under section 104(a)(2) as damages received for personal injuries.

         FINDINGS OF FACT

         Some of the facts have been stipulated and are found accordingly.

         Petitioner, who resided in Alexandria, Virginia at the time of the filing of her petition in this case, filed an individual income tax return for the calendar year 1982.

         Petitioner has been an employee of the United States Government printing Office (GPO) since 1965. From 1965 through 1981, she was employed at the GPO as a Wage Board Grade 4 Journeyman Bindery Worker Smyth Sewing Machine Operator.

         Petitioner was the lead plaintiff in a class action sex discrimination claim filed against her employer, the Public Printer as head of the GPO, on May 25, 1973. During calendar year 1982, the GPO was found, in Thompson v. Sawyer, 678 F.2d 257 (D.C. Cir. 1982), affg. in part and revg. in part Thompson v. Boyle, 499 F.Supp. 1147 (D.D.C. 1979), to have discriminated against petitioner in violation of Title VII and the Equal Pay Act by failing to pay petitioner the same wage paid to certain males for work the performance of which required skill, effort and responsibility substantially equal to that required for jobs performed by such males. In the complaint the following allegations were made -

         III. PARTIES

         3. Plaintiff Thompson is a citizen of the United States a nd a resident of Hyattsville, Maryland. Plaintiff Thompson is currently employed as a

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Wage Board Grade 4 Journeyman Bindery Worker in the Binding Division of the GPO. She has been employ ed in the Binding Division since October 1965.

         * * *

         8. The GPO is a unit of the legislative branch of the Federal Government having positions in the competitive service within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-16(a) and section 6 of Executive Order 11478. Defendant Thomas F. McCormick is the Public Printer of the United States and is named as Defendant in his official capacity as head of the GPO as prescribed in 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-16(c) and Section 2 of Executive Order 11478.

         IV. CLASS ACTION ALLEGATIONS

         9. The named Plaintiffs bring this action on their own behalf and on behalf of all other female Journeyman Bindery Workers in the Binding Division of the Production Department o f the GPO, pursuant to Rule 23(a) and 23(b)(2)-(3) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Local Rule 1-13.

         * * *

         VI. STATEMENT OF CLAIMS

         26. It is the contention and belief of Plaintiffs that Defendant is engaged in a widespread consistent pattern and practice of sex discrimination throughout the Production Department of the GPO, which discrimation has resulted and continues to result in female employees in the Production Department being kept in lower paying positions, being denied advancement opportunities, and in some instances being prevent ed from receiving pay and advancement opportunities equivalent to those received by males who perform comparable work. * * *

         A. INTRODUCTION: GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF PATTERNS AND PRACTICES OF SEX DISCRIMINATION IN PRODUCTION DEPARTMENT

         27. On information and belief, there are approximately 8,000 employees in the GPO, 3,977 of whom work in the Production Department. Except for management positions, jobs in the Production Department are basically classified in two categories, craft and noncraft. Employees who are classified a s ‘ craftsmen‘ generally perform jobs which are recognized in the printing industry as skilled trades or crafts, and employees who are classified as ‘ noncraftsmen‘ generally perform unskilled, semi-skilled, or skilled manual labor. Craftsmen in the Production Department receive wages substantially higher than those received by noncraftsmen, and only craftsmen are entitle d to compete for supervisory training and Printing Specialist positions. Currently, 2,015 of the 3,977 employees in the Production Department are classified as craftsmen. Another 285 employees in the Production Department hold management supervisory positions, including foreman, assistant foreman an d group chief positions.

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          28. Females hold only 558 of the 3,977 positions in the production Department. No females in the Production Department hold management supervisory positions. And only 35 of the 558 females employed in the Production Department hold craft positions. * * *

         * * *

         32. As indicated by Table I, supra, 455 of the 558 female s employed in the Production Department are assigned to the Binding Division, and, as indicated by Table II, none of the 4 55 females in the Binding Division hold craft positions. * * *

         * * *

         33. Most of the 279 males in the Binding Division classified as craft Bookbinders are machine operators who operate the various machines in the Binding Division that are necessary in the bookbinding operation. In addition, a number of the craft Bookbinders perform some of the handwork that is necessary in the bookbinding operation, including book repair, indexing, and tablet making. All Bookbinders are paid $7.51 pe r hour (compared with wages ranging from $5.29 to $5.92 per hour paid Journeyman Binder Workers - see Table IV, infra), and ar e eligible to compete for supervisory training and Printing Specialist positions. * * *

         * * *

         (b) CLAIM 1: DISCRIMINATORY CLASSIFICATION OF

         BINDERY WORKER SEWING MACHINE OPERATORS

         36. All Wage Board Grade 4 Bindery Workers who operate Smyth Sewing Machines and all Wage Board Grade 3 Bindery Worke rs who operate Singer Sewing Machines and Oversewing Machines hav e been and are entitled to craft status, but Defendant has refused to reclassify their positions. The Classification Expert described in Paragraph 15, supra, has found that there is no basis for placing the Smyth Sewing Machine Operators in a job classification separate and distinct from the classification applied to Bookbinder machine operators. (The Expert did not perform a classification study of the Singer Sewing Machines a nd Oversewing Machines.)

         * * *

         39. In addition to being denied pay equal to that receive d by Bookbinders for equivalent work and the opportunity to compete for supervisory training and Printing Specialist positions, Bindery Worker sewing machine operators are discriminated against in other respects on the basis of sex. * * *

         * * *

         C. CONCLUSION

         51. The acts and practices described in Paragraphs 12 through 50, supra, deprive Plaintiffs and the class of females they represent of their rights to equal employment opportunities in the GPO and violate their

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rights under Title VII of the Civ il Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e et seq. (1970), as amended by the Equal Employment Opportunity Act of 1912, 42 U.S.C. section 2000e-16 (Supp. 11, 1972); the Equal Pay Act of 1963, 29 U.S.C. section 206(d) (1970); 44 U.S.C. section 305 (1970); Executive Order 11478, 34 F.R. 12985 (1969), as amended by Executive Order 11590, 36 F.R. 7831 (1970), 3 C.F.R. 214 (1973); and the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution. Unless restrained by order of this Court, Defendant will continue to engage...

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