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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. City of Virginia Beach EE-VA-0126
Docket / Court 06-CV-189 ( E.D. Va. )
State/Territory Virginia
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On April 3rd, 2006, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., against the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The defendant City of Virginia Beach employs ... read more >
On April 3rd, 2006, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq., against the City of Virginia Beach, Virginia in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Virginia. The defendant City of Virginia Beach employs police officers and is responsible for establishing the terms, conditions, and other practices which bear upon the employment of the city's police officers. The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant violated Title VII by discriminating against African-American and Hispanics on the basis of race and national origin.

Specifically, the DOJ alleges that the defendant's use of a mathematics test as a pass/fail screening device in the selection process for the entry-level position of police officer has had a statistically significant disparate impact against African-American and Hispanic applicants. The DOJ further alleges that the City's use of the mathematics test has not been shown to be job related for the position in question and consistent with business necessity.

On July 24th, 2006, the court (Judge Raymond A. Jackson) entered a consent decree between the United States and the defendant. The decree enjoined the defendant from using the mathematics test as a pass/fail screening device as part of its entry-level police officer selection process, unless used in the following manner: the defendant will consider all applicants who score at least 70% on the reading component of the National Police Officer Screening Test ("POST"), score at least 70% on the grammar component of the POST and obtain an overall POST score of at least 60%. If the defendant wishes to use the test in any other manner, or use a different test, it must notify the United States, and provide a description of the test and the manner in which the defendant intends to use it, the known or likely disparate impact (if any), and all evidence of job relatedness and business necessity. The decree further stipulates that the defendant shall designate an individual responsible for enforcing the consent decree.

The decree also orders the city to deposit money into two settlement funds, the first to be distributed to African-American claimants entitled to monetary relief under the decree, and the second among Hispanic claimants. Individuals eligible for relief under the decree include African-Americans and Hispanics who took the POST during or after 2002, received a score below 70% on the mathematics component, received a score of at least 70% on each of other components, received an overall POST score of at least 60%, and were considered by the defendant to have failed the test.

The defendant may, during the 120 days following the date on which the United States provides to it the list required by the eligibility requirements, require any claimant to appear for and cooperate in any selection procedure designed to allow the defendant to evaluate the claimant's qualifications for the position, using lawful and objective selection procedures.

The decree also contains a section titled "Priority Hiring with Retroactive Hire Date," which stipulates that the defendant shall hire at least 6 African American claimants and 3 Hispanic claimants whom the Court has approved as eligible.

The Court retained jurisdiction until the defendant fulfilled all the obligations regarding individual relief, including crediting of retroactive hire date to claimants hired as priority hires.

The docket shows that there were multiple objections to the consent decree filed after its entry. There was also an order granting a motion to modify the terms of the decree on June 1, 2007. On August 29th, 2007, there was a memorandum order overruling objections to entry of the consent decree, and entering the decree as a final resolution of all claims asserted by the DOJ against the defendant. However, these documents are not available.

Jennifer Hau - 11/11/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Testing
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Pattern or Practice
National Origin/Ethnicity
Other
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Virginia Beach
Plaintiff Description United States, on behalf of African-American and Hispanic applicants
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2007 - 2009
Case Closing Year 2007
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)
2:06-cv-00189-RAJ-FBS (E.D. Va.) 08/02/2007
EE-VA-0126-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint 04/03/2006
EE-VA-0126-0001 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 04/03/2006
EE-VA-0126-0002 PDF | Detail
Judges Jackson, Raymond Alvin (E.D. Va.)
EE-VA-0126-0002 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Stillman, F. Bradford (E.D. Va.) [Magistrate]
EE-VA-0126-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)
EE-VA-0126-0002
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
EE-VA-0126-0001 | EE-VA-0126-0002
Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-VA-0126-0001 | EE-VA-0126-0002 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Rosenberg, Chuck (Virginia)
EE-VA-0126-0001
Ruiz, Hector F. (District of Columbia)
EE-VA-0126-0001 | EE-VA-0126-0002 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Seeley, Sharon (District of Columbia)
EE-VA-0126-0001 | EE-VA-0126-0002 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Watt, Susan Lynn (Virginia)
EE-VA-0126-0001 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Woodard, Karen D. (District of Columbia)
EE-VA-0126-0001 | EE-VA-0126-0002 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lilley, Leslie Louis (Virginia)
EE-VA-0126-0002 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Stiles, Mark Douglas (Virginia)
EE-VA-0126-0002 | EE-VA-0126-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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