University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Frank v. United Airlines Inc. EE-CA-0291
Docket / Court 3:92-cv-00692 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On February 7, 1992, 13 female flight attendants for United Airlines filed a complaint against their employer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant's weight requirements for flight attendants, which included different ... read more >
On February 7, 1992, 13 female flight attendants for United Airlines filed a complaint against their employer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs alleged that the defendant's weight requirements for flight attendants, which included different weight requirements for males and females of the same height, constituted gender discrimination under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. Sec. 2000e.

According to the PACER docket, the district court (Judge Charles A. Legge) approved the plaintiff's motion for class certification on April 29, 1994. According to the plaintiffs' counsel's website, the court allowed two subclasses of United female flight attendants. The first subclass consisted of attendants with claims for gender discrimination, and the second subclass was for attendants with claims for age discrimination.

On February 26, 1997, the district court (Judge Legge) granted summary judgment in favor of the defendant. In 2000, on appeal, the Ninth Circuit affirmed that United had not committed age discrimination, but reversed the district court's finding on sex discrimination and found in favor of the plaintiffs. Frank v. United, 216 F.3d 857 (9th Cir. 2000). According to the plaintiffs' counsel's website, on remand the district court (Judge Martin Jenkins) approved a preliminary settlement agreement in 2002, and the final settlement and plan of allocation, which was approved in 2004, gave the plaintiffs $38.6 million. No further information is available about the settlement.

Andrew Kline - 03/25/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) United Airlines
Plaintiff Description Female flight attendants
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
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)
98-15638 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 04/15/1998
EE-CA-0291-9001.pdf | Detail
Westlaw
98-16687 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 09/14/1998
EE-CA-0291-9002.pdf | Detail
Westlaw
3:92−cv−00692 (N.D. Cal.) 09/15/2006
EE-CA-0291-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Opinion 02/26/1997 (1997 WL 258890 / 1997 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 4286) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0291-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion (Ninth Circuit) 07/12/1999 (216 F.3d 845)
EE-CA-0291-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Fletcher, William A. (Ninth Circuit)
EE-CA-0291-0001
Jenkins, Martin J. (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0291-9000
Legge, Charles A. (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0291-0002
O'Scannlain, Diarmuid Fionntain (Ninth Circuit)
EE-CA-0291-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Benay, Edith J. (California)
EE-CA-0291-0001 | EE-CA-0291-9000 | EE-CA-0291-9001 | EE-CA-0291-9002
Cervantez, Eve Hedy (California)
EE-CA-0291-9000
Fineberg, James M. (California)
EE-CA-0291-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dexter, Douglas Evans (California)
EE-CA-0291-9002
Jerman, Tom A (California)
EE-CA-0291-0001 | EE-CA-0291-9000 | EE-CA-0291-9001
Kirschner, F. Curt Jr. (California)
EE-CA-0291-9000 | EE-CA-0291-9001
Reis, David James (California)
EE-CA-0291-0001 | EE-CA-0291-9000 | EE-CA-0291-9002
Other Lawyers Berman, Jeffrey A (California)
EE-CA-0291-9002
Gilmartin, Edward J. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0291-9000
Lawhon, Mary Jane (California)
EE-CA-0291-9000
Mollen, Neal D. (District of Columbia)
EE-CA-0291-9001 | EE-CA-0291-9002
Sokol, William A. (California)
EE-CA-0291-9000

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