University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States of America v. City of Erie, Pennsylvania EE-PA-0195
Docket / Court 1:04-cv-00004-SJM ( W.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On January 8, 2004, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the City of Erie, Pennsylvania. The DOJ asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that ... read more >
On January 8, 2004, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania against the City of Erie, Pennsylvania. The DOJ asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the plaintiff discriminated on the basis of sex by requiring that candidates for the entry-level position of City of Erie Police officer pass a physical agility test that favored men.

The complaint alleges that the City of Erie discriminated on the basis of sex by: (1) administering a physical agility test that only 13% of females passed while 71% of males passed; (2) failing or refusing to hire women for the entry-level position of police officer on the same basis as men; and (3) using physical agility standards for the entry-level position of police officer that have an adverse impact on women.

The City of Erie proposed a consent decree on March 7, 2006 that stated: (1) the City of Erie shall not engage in any entry-level police officer selection practice utilizing the PAT used between 1996 and 2002; (2) The City of Erie must notify the United States if it plans to use any physical ability test to select entry-level police officers; (3) The City of Erie shall provide compensatory damages to satisfy all monetary claims, which includes benefits and backpay; (4) The City of Erie shall make up to, but no more than, five Priority Hires; and (5) The City of Erie shall not hire any person other than a claimant eligible for hiring consideration into an entry-level police officer position until five Priority Hires have been made. Over fifty class members objected to the consent decree.

On November 20, 2006, the court ordered a judgment in favor of the claimants for compensatory damages.

Erin Forman - 11/04/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Erie, Pennsylvania
Plaintiff Description United States of America, on behalf of female law force applicants
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2006 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:04-cv-00004 (W.D. Pa.) 11/24/2006
EE-PA-0195-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/08/2004
EE-PA-0195-0001 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 03/07/2006
EE-PA-0195-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges McLaughlin, Sean J. (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adelstein, Jay (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Buchanan, Mary Beth (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Roth, Christine M. (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Seeley, Sharon (District of Columbia)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Smolar, Jessica (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fein, Katherine (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Villella, Gerald (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0195-0001 | EE-PA-0195-0002 | EE-PA-0195-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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