University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States of America v. City of Pontiac, Michigan and Local #376 Fire Fighters Union, International Association of Fire Fighters EE-MI-0185
Docket / Court 2:05-cv-72913 ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
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 July 26, 2005, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c. et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the City of Pontiac and the local firefighters' union. The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging ... read more >
On July 26, 2005, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000c. et seq., in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the City of Pontiac and the local firefighters' union. The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII through its agency the Pontiac Fire Department by discriminating on the basis of sex and race.

The complaint alleges that collective bargaining agreements entered into by the Pontiac Fire Department and the local firefighters' union established a dual system for hiring and promotion, which discriminated on the basis of sex and race. The hiring and promotion policies required that one out of every three individuals hired or promoted be either a female or a minority. Two lists were maintained for the purposes of hiring and promotion. The first list included all candidates, while the second list included only the female and minority candidates. Hiring and promotion decisions were made from the first list, but if one out of three individuals hired or promoted were not either a racial minority or female, then the second list was consulted. The DOJ alleged these policies discriminated against men and non-minorities.

On July 20, 2006, the District Court (Judge George C. Steeh) granted the DOJ's motion for the provisional entry of a consent decree. Despite objections from a number of individuals, the court signed the consent decree on September 28, 2006. The consent decree was entered into by the DOJ and the City of Pontiac and had the purposes of: (1) preventing future discrimination on the basis of race and gender and (2) providing remedial relief for those employees and applicants affected by the allegedly discriminatory policies. The consent decree specifically enjoined the defendants from: (a) engaging in or agreeing to any act or practice that discriminates on the basis of race or sex in violation of Title VII and in relation to hiring or promotion and (b) retaliating against anyone for engaging in practices protected by Title VII, including cooperating with the investigation related to this case and seeking or receiving individual relief. The consent decree also provided for individual relief and defined those individuals eligible for such relief. Further, the consent decree imposed record-keeping and reporting obligations on the defendant and provided that the court retain jurisdiction for a period of two (2) years.

This case is closed.

Kaitlin Corkran - 02/24/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Defendant-type
Fire
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
White
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Pontiac, Michigan
Firefighters Union, Local 376
Plaintiff Description Men and non-minorities who applied for employment or promotion with the City of Pontiac Fire Department while a specific collective bargaining agreement was in place
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2006 - 2008
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)
2:05-cv-72913 (E.D. Mich.) 09/28/2006
EE-MI-0185-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 07/27/2005
EE-MI-0185-0002 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 09/28/2006
EE-MI-0185-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Capel, Wallace Jr. (E.D. Mich., M.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
EE-MI-0185-9000
Majzoub, Mona K. (E.D. Mich.) [Magistrate]
EE-MI-0185-9000
Steeh, George Caram III (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0185-0001 | EE-MI-0185-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0185-0001 | EE-MI-0185-0002 | EE-MI-0185-9000
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0185-0001
Levy, Judith Ellen (Michigan)
EE-MI-0185-0002 | EE-MI-0185-9000
Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0185-0001 | EE-MI-0185-0002 | EE-MI-0185-9000
Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0185-0002
Seeley, Sharon (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0185-0001 | EE-MI-0185-0002 | EE-MI-0185-9000
Wasserman, Carl D (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0185-0001 | EE-MI-0185-0002 | EE-MI-0185-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Goldstein, Eric S. (Michigan)
EE-MI-0185-0001 | EE-MI-0185-9000
Heinen, Mark L. (Michigan)
EE-MI-0185-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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