United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Tacoma
LOUIE M. ROSALES, Plaintiff,
RICHARD V. SPENCER, Secretary of the United States Department of the Navy, Defendant.
ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART
DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT
BENJAMIN H. SETTLE, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
matter comes before the Court on Defendant Richard
Spencer's (“Government”) motion for summary
judgment. Dkt. 25. The Court has considered the pleadings
filed in support of and in opposition to the motion and the
remainder of the file and hereby grants in part and denies in
part the motion for the reasons stated herein.
September 29, 2017, Plaintiff Louie Rosales
(“Rosales”) filed a complaint against the
Government asserting a claim for breach of contract and
retaliation. Dkt. 1. On May 11, 2018, Rosales filed an
amended complaint asserting the same claims and adding
additional requests for relief. Dkt. 13.
March 27, 2018, the Government filed a motion for summary
judgment. Dkt. 25. On April 15, 2019, Rosales responded. Dkt.
33. On April 19, 2019, the Government replied. Dkt. 36.
has worked as a civilian employee of the Department of the
Navy (the “Department”) for nearly 37 years. Dkt.
34, Declaration of Louie Rosales (“Rosales
Decl.”), ¶ 2. Since at least the late 1990s,
Rosales has worked in various positions as a shipfitter in
Shop 11 at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard in Bremerton, WA.
Id. At all relevant times, Jeremy Feldbush
(“Feldbush”) was the Trade Superintendent for
Shops 11 and 17 and Cassandra Pruitt (“Pruitt”)
was the Resource and Skills Manager for the non-nuclear
trades in Shops 11 and 17.
March 16, 2016, Rosales filed a complaint with the
Department's Equal Employment Office (“EEO”)
alleging discrimination and harassment based on his race,
ethnicity, and national origin. Id. ¶ 3. On
March 20, 2016, Pruitt demoted Rosales from his position as a
Work Leader. Id. ¶ 4. On August 15, 2016, the
Department engaged in formal mediation with Rosales regarding
his EEO complaint. Id. ¶ 5. Rosales asserts
that he and Feldbush reached an agreement as follows:
reached a verbal agreement that the Department would do the
following: (1) assign me a mentor; (2) promote me back to a
Work Leader position, where I had been before Ms. Pruitt
demoted me; (3) put me on a list to attend First Level
Supervisor (1LS) training; and (4) restore 24 hours of sick
leave I had used when dealing with the harassment and
discrimination. Elizabeth Anderson (“Anderson”),
who was a Human Resource Specialist, was not there when Mr.
Feldbush and I agreed to the settlement terms.
August 19, 2016, Rosales and his union representative, Mark
Leighton (“Leighton”), met with Feldbush and
Anderson to sign a written settlement agreement.When Feldbush
and Anderson presented the draft, Rosales immediately
objected to the provision stating that he would be promoted
to Work Leader for only a temporary period that was not to
exceed 120 days. Id. ¶ 6. Rosales asserts that
the conversation was as follows:
When I looked at the settlement agreement, it was different
than what I agreed with Mr. Feldbush. Mr. Feldbush had agreed
that I would be returned to a Work Leader position, but the
document said that I would only be promoted as a Work Leader
for 120 days. Mr. Leighton and I told Mr. Feldbush that a
temporary promotion would not work because that is not what
we agreed. Mr. Feldbush told me that he understood but that
this was the only “legal” way he could put me
back as Work Leader. However, he specifically promised that
when the 120 days was over, he would personally select me
from a certification list, or “cert, ” and that I
would remain a Work Leader going forward. I believed Mr.
Feldbush. Mr. Leighton told Mr. Feldbush that if he did not
keep his promise, the union would sue on my behalf. Mr.
Feldbush assured me again that he would personally make sure
that I kept my promotion after the 120 days.
Id. Rosales signed the agreement, which provides as
The Agency agrees to:
(1) Assign a mentor to Mr. Rosales within ten work days from
the last signature of this Agreement.
(2) Place Mr. Rosales on a temporary promotion to a
WL-3820-10 Shipfitter Leader position, not to exceed 120
days. This action will be initiated by the shop within ten