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Case Name United States v. City of Warren EE-MI-0187
Docket / Court 2:86-cv-75435-PJD ( E.D. Mich. )
State/Territory Michigan
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On October 31, 1986, the U.S. Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, against the City of Warren, Michigan and the City of Warren Police and Firefighter Civil Service Commission, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern ... read more >
On October 31, 1986, the U.S. Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. 2000e, against the City of Warren, Michigan and the City of Warren Police and Firefighter Civil Service Commission, in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan. The D.O.J. sought injunctive relief, alleging defendants' advertising and recruitment practices had a discriminatory impact on blacks and that black applicants received disparate treatment in the hiring process.

One of the government's specific allegations involved a list of firefighter recruits ("the 1989 list"). The government alleged that the City of Warren violated Title VII because it developed the 1989 list by recruiting applicants using advertisement methods that excluded blacks from the list by failing to use media outlets geared toward blacks.

The government additionally contended that defendants discriminated against black applicants by imposing a requirement that all applicants be residents of the city for one year prior to the time of their application ("the preapplication residency requirement").

In 1958, the City of Warren implemented the preapplication residency requirement relating to persons applying for police, firefighter, and other municipal jobs. In 1984, the City of Warren rescinded the preapplication residency requirement with regards to police and fire applicants. Finally, in 1986, the City of Warren rescinded the residency requirement as to all other municipal job applicants. In 1986, the government filed a suit against defendants alleging that the preapplication residency requirement violated Title VII and that defendants continued to violate Title VII with regards to its recruitment of blacks.

The government filed a motion for summary judgment on its claim that the preapplication residency requirement had a disparate impact on black applicants. Additionally, defendants filed a motion for summary judgment arguing the residency requirement did no violate Title VII.

On February 14, 1991, the district court (Judge Patrick J. Duggan) ruled on the motions for summary judgment holding that: (1) statistical evidence established that the preapplication residency requirement had a disparate impact on blacks; (2) the defendants did not establish a business justification for the requirement; and (3) retroactive relief was warranted.

On that same day the district court (Judge Duggan) dismissed the government's motion for a preliminary injunction seeking to enjoin the City of Warren from using a list a eligible applicants for firefighter positions ("the 1989 list"). The government argued that the City of Warren should be enjoined from using the 1989 list because it recruited the applicants on the list using advertisement methods that excluded blacks from the list by failing to use media outlets geared toward blacks. The court held that a preliminary injunction was not necessary because on September 24, 1990 it had entered an order providing that the City of Warren would eliminate the 1989 list and begin recruiting a new firefighter list in a way that would be approved by the court. In addition to denying the government's motion for a preliminary injunction, the court also clarified that nonemployees who had no knowledge of the job openings could be entitled to retroactive relief.

On August 12, 1992, the district court (Judge Duggan) held that the defendants' pre-1986 police and firefighter recruitment practices violated Title VII by having a disparate impact on blacks. The court held that the government failed to prove its disparate impact claim as to the City of Warren's pre-1986 recruitment for other municipal positions (however, the court emphasized that its holding that the pre-1986 use of a preapplication residency requirement had a disparate impact on blacks is not affected by this ruling). The court further held that the City of Warren's refusal to advertise in black-oriented media until 1990 did no amount to disparate impact in violation of Title VII, because the City took other steps to reach out to potential black applicants, such as sending materials out to the NAACP and the Urban League. The court held that the government failed to establish its claim that black applicants received disparate treatments in the application process and that the hiring of two white males over two black males constituted a violation of Title VII. The court further held the government failed to establish existence of a hostile work environment toward blacks in the city's various municipal departments. The court, however, held that the City of Warren had failed to eliminate the discriminatory effects of its pre-1986 recruitment practices and that injunctive relief is proper to remedy this. Finally the court held that the government failed to state a prima facie case for its claim that three members of the Civil Services Commission were dismissed in retaliation for their cooperation with the government's investigation. The court gave the government 30 days to produce evidence that it could present a list of identifiable victims of the defendants' discrimination that would be eligible for individual relief. The court further ordered the parties to submit a proposed injunction.

On January 15, 1993, the district court (Judge Duggan) held that the government was allowed to notify potential victims of defendants' discriminatory practices through local newspapers and other black-oriented media as well as by having the City of Warren send notice to the black police and firefighter organizations in Detroit and all black applicants to Warren since October 1986. The court further held that the City of Warren would bear the cost of this notifications.

On July 25, 1995, the government filed a motion for adoption of its recommendations on claims for individual relief, on behalf of eleven individuals. On November 6, 1996, the district court (Judge Duggan) awarded on individual $55,595.00 in backpay, but denied individual relief as to the other ten individuals.

One individual who was denied relief appealed the district court's ruling, on November 13, 1997, in a per curiam opinion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit (Judges Leroy John Contie, Jr., Martha Craig Daughtrey, and R. Guy Cole, Jr.) affirmed the district court's decision to deny individual relief to the appellant.

On November 13, 1997, the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit ruled that the plaintiff had met its burden in proving that the disparate impact was widespread and did extend to all municipal institutions in the City of Warren.

This case is closed.

Janani Iyengar - 10/29/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Preliminary relief granted
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Warren
City of Warren
Plaintiff Description U.S. on behalf of African American's adversely impacted by the City of Warren's recruitment and hiring practices
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 Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2003
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)
2:86cv75435 (E.D. Mich.) 01/14/2003
EE-MI-0187-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 02/14/1991 (759 F.Supp. 355) (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0187-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 02/14/1991 (759 F.Supp. 368) (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0187-0012.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion 08/12/1992 (1992 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 21702) (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0187-0016.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion 01/15/1993 (1993 WL 260681) (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0187-0013.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Deposition 06/24/1996 (1996 WL 33690711)
EE-MI-0187-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Opinion 11/06/1996 (1996 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 18361) (E.D. Mich.)
EE-MI-0187-0015.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Per Curiam 11/13/1997 (129 F.3d 1265)
EE-MI-0187-0014.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Appellate Opinion 03/16/1998 (138 F.3d 1083)
EE-MI-0187-0011.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Cole, Ransey Guy Jr. (Sixth Circuit)
EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-0011 | EE-MI-0187-0014
Contie, Leroy John Jr. (N.D. Ohio, Sixth Circuit)
EE-MI-0187-0011 | EE-MI-0187-0014
Daughtrey, Martha Craig (Sixth Circuit)
EE-MI-0187-0011 | EE-MI-0187-0014
Duggan, James E. Court not on record
EE-MI-0187-0001 | EE-MI-0187-0012 | EE-MI-0187-0013 | EE-MI-0187-0015 | EE-MI-0187-0016 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Annexstein, Leslie T. (New York)
EE-MI-0187-0001 | EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-0011 | EE-MI-0187-0015
Henry, Dawn (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Johnson, Alicia Dyoni (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Marcelle, Dawn C. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0015
Ricciuti, Michael (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0012
Schmidt, Angela G. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Troth, Rebecca K. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0011
Ugelow, Richard S (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0011 | EE-MI-0187-0015
Wicks, L. Michael (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0012
Defendant's Lawyers Connolly, Walter B. Jr. (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0001 | EE-MI-0187-0011 | EE-MI-0187-0012 | EE-MI-0187-0015 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Hacker, James (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-0011 | EE-MI-0187-0012 | EE-MI-0187-0015 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Jakubowski, Walter A. (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0012
Kahn, Steven C. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0011
Marshall, Alison B. (District of Columbia)
EE-MI-0187-0011
Randon, Mark (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0015
Other Lawyers Meier, Richard A. (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0015
Mitea, Victor (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-0015 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Moseley, Roderic (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-9000
Parks, James J. (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0015
Schulman, Sanford (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0010 | EE-MI-0187-0015 | EE-MI-0187-9000
Wallace, Willard W. (Michigan)
EE-MI-0187-0015

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