United States District Court, W.D. Virginia, Roanoke Division
LARRY D. STORES, Plaintiff,
MEGAN J. BRENNAN, POSTMASTER GENERAL, Defendant.
Glen E. Conrad, Chief United States District Judge
D. Stores filed this action under the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act of 1967 ("ADEA") against Megan J.
Brennan, Postmaster General of the United States Postal
Service ("Postal Service"). Stores claims that the
Postal Service failed to promote him to a supervisory
position because of his age. The Postal Service has moved for
summary judgment. For the reasons that follow, the motion
will be granted.
following facts are either undisputed or presented in the
light most favorable to the plaintiff. See Anderson v.
Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 255 (1986);
Libertarian Party of Va. v. Judd, 718 F.3d 308, 313
(4th Cir. 2013)., Stores was employed by the Postal Service
from May of 1980 until his retirement in September of 2016.
For most of his career, Stores worked as a Maintenance
Mechanic at the Roanoke, Virginia Processing and Distribution
Center (the "Roanoke P&DC"). In this
non-supervisory position, Stores was considered a
"craft" employee. Stores Dep. 30, Docket No. 25-1.
His supervisory experience with the Postal Service was
limited to filling in as a temporary supervisor for "a
couple of months back in the early '90's."
Id. at 29.
also served in the United States Army Reserves from November
1, 1972 until June 1, 1995. During part of his time in the
Reserves, Stores supervised lower-ranking officers. See
Id. at 35-36 ("Basically in the Reserves ... I
would supervise other people because I was a staff
September 23, 2014, the Postal Service posted openings for
the position of Supervisor of Maintenance Operations
("SMO") at the Roanoke P&DC. There were three
SMO positions available, one for each of the three eight-hour
shifts. Candidates were able to apply for any or all of the
openings through eCareer, an online job application system.
The listed duties and responsibilities included supervising
electronic technicians, mechanics, custodians, and
maintenance technicians; supervising preventative and
maintenance activities; supervising the preparation of work
assignments and maintenance schedules; ensuring that
maintenance employees received proper training; and meeting
with union representatives to resolve disagreements.
candidates applied for one or more of the open SMO positions.
All seven, including Stores, applied for the daytime
position. Stores did not apply for either of the other
Burgess, the Manager of Maintenance at the Roanoke P&DC,
served as the Selecting Official for the posted SMO
positions. After interviewing several candidates, including
Stores, Burgess selected Sheila Belcher for the daytime SMO
position. Belcher had eighteen years of management experience
with the Postal Service. For over sixteen years, Belcher
served as the Postmaster or Officer-in-Charge of various post
offices in Virginia and West Virginia. She then served, on an
interim basis, as the Supervisor of Mail Processing in
Bluefield, West Virginia, the Supervisor of Distribution
Operations in Charleston, West Virginia, the Supervisor of
Customer Service in Bluefield, West Virginia, and the
Supervisor of Distribution Operations in Roanoke.
Additionally, at the time of her interview, Belcher was
temporarily serving as an acting SMO at the Roanoke P&DC.
December 1, 2014, Stores was notified that he was not
selected for the daytime SMO position. He was 64 years old at
the time of the decision; Belcher was 54 years old.
March 2, 2016, Stores filed the instant action asserting
claims of discrimination under the ADEA, Title VII of the
Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), and the
Rehabilitation Act of 1973 ("Rehabilitation Act").
On September 14, 2016, the court dismissed the claims under
Title VII and the Rehabilitation Act for failure to timely
exhaust administrative remedies. Stores v. Brennan,
No. 7:16CV00088, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 125580 (W.D. Va. Sept.
the completion of discovery, the Postal Service moved for
summary judgment on the remaining claim of discrimination
under the ADEA. The court held a hearing on the motion on
April 10, 2017. The matter has been fully briefed and is ripe
of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure permits a party to
move for summary judgment. "The court shall grant
summary judgment if the movant shows that there is no genuine
dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a). In
deciding whether to grant a summary judgment motion, the
court must view the record in the light most favorable to the
nonmoving party, and draw all reasonable inferences in his
favor. Anderson, 477 U.S. at 255; Libertarian
Party of Va., 718 F.3d at 312. However,
"[c]onclusory or speculative allegations do not suffice,
nor does a 'mere scintilla of evidence' in support of
[the nonmoving ...