Rodriguez v. United States, No. 15-2178 (1st Cir. 2017)Annotate this Case
Plaintiffs were a group of current and former federal employees working in non-foreign areas located outside the contiguous United States. In addition to their normal salaries, federal employees working in these areas receive cost-of-living allowances (COLAs). Plaintiff filed a complaint challenging the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) regulations that exclude COLAs from the calculation of retirement and other benefits, alleging that these regulations are discriminatory under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and are arbitrary, capricious, and contrary to law under the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). The district court dismissed the complaint. The First Circuit affirmed, holding that the district court properly concluded (1) that Plaintiffs’ disparate impact claim was barred by the location-based safe harbor provision of 24 U.S.C. 2000e-2(h); (2) that Plaintiffs did not exhaust their administrative remedies as to their disparate treatment claim; and (3) that Plaintiffs’ non-discrimination claims were precluded by the Civil Service Reform Act.