On March 12, 2007, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York against the City of New York. The DOJ sought injunctive and monetary relief, alleging that the defendant had engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination on the basis of sex in its hiring practices.
The complaint alleges that the City of New York, specifically the New York City Department of Transportation ("DOT"), implemented discriminatory recruitment and hiring procedures on the basis of sex by: (1) failing or refusing to hire women for the position of Bridge Painter on the same basis as men; and (2) by failing or refusing to take appropriate action to correct the present effects of their discriminatory policies and practices.
On June 27, 2007, intervenor plaintiffs, a labor union and several females previously not hired by the DOT, were added to the action.
On October 31, 2008, the defendant filed a motion for summary judgment, which was denied in part and granted in part on July 2, 2009. The motion was denied with respect to the allegations of pattern or practice of discrimination by the United States, but granted with respect to the same allegation by intervenor-plaintiffs. The Court reasoned that individuals cannot bring pattern or practice claims and each individual alleged wrongdoing was time barred.
After more discovery and pre-trial motions, the case went into a bench trial. On May 13, 2010, the Court (Judge William H. Pauley III) issued an opinion and order, finding for the plaintiff United States. The court found that the defendant was engaged in a pattern or practice of discrimination, by not having objective hiring criteria, giving preference to less qualified male applicants, and maintaining a hostile work environment. It did not find the City's justifications to be compelling. The Court ordered to implement the United States proposed orders of remedial relief to establish objective hiring procedures at the DOT. Judgment on individual compensation and relief was reserved for later.
On May 28, 2010, the Court issued a judgment approving the compliance injunction by the United States. Under the proposed orders, the defendant had to establish objective hiring criteria and advertise those criteria, as well as have established interviewing procedures. The proposed orders also included general injunctions: 1) prohibition against gender discrimination in recruitment and hiring of bridge painters; 2) prohibition on retaliation. It was also ordered that the City submitted three annual reports describing its compliance, kept all records pertaining to the orders, and that United States had a right to monitor compliance.
On June 25, 2010, the defendants appealed against the May 28 judgment. However, the parties then settled and the appeal was withdrawn. On September 30, 2010, the Court entered stipulation and order of settlement. The agreement did not in any way modify the compliance injunction. The defendant agreed to pay $250,000.00 to four intervenor plaintiffs each ($1,000,000.00 total). The defendant had a right to apply to the court for modification of the compliance injunction.
After a fairness hearing on December 7, 2010, the Court ordered the agreement to be fair and lawful, and adopted the compliance injunction as its final order.Hyun Jeong Yang - 11/27/2007
Zhandos Kuderin - 07/17/2014