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Partridge v. Reich

April 06, 1998

WILLIAM PARTRIDGE; JAMES ZAGORSKI; WILLIAM STOJACK, PLAINTIFFS-APPELLANTS,
v.
ROBERT B. REICH; HELEN HAASE; U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR, DEFENDANTS-APPELLEES.



D.C. No. CV-96-00056-DWH

Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Nevada David Warner Hagen, District Judge, Presiding

Argued and Submitted February 13, 1998--San Francisco, California

Before: Procter Hug, Jr., Chief Judge, and Ferdinand F. Fernandez and Sidney R. Thomas, Circuit Judges.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Fernandez, Circuit Judge

FOR PUBLICATION

SUMMARY

William Partridge, William Stojack, and James Zagorski (collectively Partridge), all of whom are employees of the Clark County Fire Department, brought this action under the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. S 702, for judicial enforcement of the Vietnam Era Veterans Readjustment Act of 1974 ("VEVRA" or the Act), 38 U.S.C. S 4212. Partridge alleged that the Secretary of Labor's Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs ("OFCCP") acted arbitrarily and capriciously when it declined jurisdiction over his claims against the Clark County Fire Department. The OFCCP declined jurisdiction because it determined that the Fire Department was not a federal contractor under VEVRA. The district court granted summary judgment against Partridge; he appeals. We affirm.

BACKGROUND

In February 1995, Partridge filed a complaint against the Clark County Fire Department with the OFCCP. The complaint charged that Clark County's Fire Department violated VEVRA because it failed to implement an affirmative action policy for Vietnam veterans.

In a letter dated February 28, 1995, the OFCCP informed Partridge that as a preliminary matter the agency would determine if it had jurisdiction over the Fire Department. After investigating the Fire Department's contacts with the federal government, the OFCCP informed Partridge that it lacked jurisdiction because the Fire Department was not a federal contractor within the meaning of VEVRA.

In August 1995, Partridge submitted to the OFCCP further evidence of contacts between the federal government and the Fire Department. After reviewing that information, the OFCCP determined that all of the agreements cited, except one, were grants. The one agreement that was a procurement contract did not establish jurisdiction over the Fire Department because the Fire Department was not a party to the agreement. In a letter dated September 14, 1995, the OFCCP reaffirmed its earlier position that the Fire Department was not subject to VEVRA and closed Partridge's case.

Thereafter, Partridge filed a complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Nevada. Pursuant to a stipulation, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment with the sole issue before the court being whether the Fire Department was a covered federal contractor at the time the alleged discriminatory acts occurred. The district court granted the Department of Labor's motion for summary judgment, and Partridge appealed.

JURISDICTION AND STANDARDS OF REVIEW

The district court had jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. S 1331, and 5 U.S.C. S 702. We have jurisdiction ...


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