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MILTON v. BELL LABS.

March 7, 1977

John W. MILTON, Plaintiff,
v.
BELL LABORATORIES, INCORPORATED, Defendant



The opinion of the court was delivered by: LACEY

 LACEY, District Judge.

 Plaintiff, a 38-year-old black attorney, sues under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 (1974), the thirteenth amendment of the United States Constitution, and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. (1974), alleging racial discrimination practiced by the defendant corporation Bell Laboratories, Incorporated [BTL], in refusing to employ him in its Patent Division. He seeks declaratory and injunctive relief together with compensatory and punitive damages, counsel fees and costs of suit. Subject matter jurisdiction lies in this court under 28 U.S.C. §§ 1331 (1966), as amended by Pub.L. 94-574, 90 Stat. 2721 (1976), and 1343(3) (1976) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3) (1974).

 The defendant BTL is a New York corporation jointly owned by The American Telephone and Telegraph [AT&T] and Western Electric Company, Incorporated [Western Electric]. Its primary function is to provide research and development services in communications technology to AT&T and Western Electric. P-36. *fn1" BTL does not deny refusing plaintiff employment. It contends, however, that it did so not because of racial reasons but because he was found not to have the ability it sought and required in applicants for employment in its Patent Division.

 BTL's Patent Division is within its Research and Patent Area, which encompasses divisions responsible for physical research, mathematics, behavioral sciences, communications sciences, and operations research. P-36.

 Plaintiff is a black male citizen of the United States. At the date of the filing of his original complaint, he was a resident of the State of New Jersey. He is presently a resident of the State of Maryland. Tr. 6. *fn2"

 He holds an Associate Degree from the R.C.A. Institute (1964), P-1 and Stip. 1, *fn3" and a Bachelor of Science degree with a major in computer technology and computer science from New York Institute of Technology (1972). P-3; Stip. 1. As an undergraduate he had 73 hours of study in electronics technology, mathematics and physics. P-1; P-3; Tr. 107, 118. He received a Juris Doctor degree from Rutgers Law School in June 1975, Stip. 5; and he is a member of the bar of the State of Pennsylvania. Stip. 6; Tr. 8. Between his graduation from the R.C.A. Institute and matriculation at New York Institute of Technology, he had five years of employment in the computer technology field. Tr. 100-05.

 From October 1975 to September 1976 he was employed in a legal capacity in the Patent Section of the United States Energy Research and Development Administration [ERDA]. Tr. 72, 88. His compensation there was $14,500 per annum. Tr. 94. He is presently employed as an attorney by the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Washington, D.C. Tr. 9. His compensation is about $20,400 per year. Tr. 99. In view of his employment almost immediately after law school, his damages are minimal. However, he seeks punitive damages of $1,000 and counsel fees.

 At the time when plaintiff was a student at New York Institute of Technology, that institution had a permanent charter from the New York State Board of Regents as a four-year college granting the baccalaureate degree. Stip. 2; Tr. 9.

 While a student at New York Institute of Technology, plaintiff had a cumulative grade point average of 3.03 on a 4.00 scale. Stip. 3. Additionally, he received a citation for distinctive student achievement throughout his college years; the Richard Gabey Memorial Award; and a Woodrow Wilson National Foundation two-year Martin Luther King Fellowship to attend graduate or professional school for the academic years 1972-1973 and 1973-1974, Stip. 4 as amended at Tr. 11, as well as other honors and credentials reflected in P-7; Tr. 10-11.

 Plaintiff's contact with BTL began shortly before his graduation from New York Institute of Technology, when he was interviewed there by a BTL recruiter. Tr. 17, 38.

 He was offered but refused a position with the defendant, at a starting salary of $12,000 per year. Stip. 7; Tr. 129.

 Later, he applied for temporary employment with the defendant in the summer of 1973, but none was available. However, with defendant's assistance, he secured a summer job with the Urban League of Union County, New Jersey, where his salary of $245 a week was provided to the Urban League by the defendant. Stip. 8; Tr. 40, 130.


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