On July 19, 2000, a female employee of Bartell Drug Company (“Bartell”) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and specifically as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (“PDA”), against Bartell in the ...
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On July 19, 2000, a female employee of Bartell Drug Company (“Bartell”) filed a lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and specifically as amended by the Pregnancy Discrimination Act of 1978, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(k) (“PDA”), against Bartell in the United States District Court for the Western District of Washington.
The plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for both declaratory and injunctive relief, charging Bartell with singling out female employees for disadvantageous treatment by excluding contraceptives from an employee benefit plan while including benefits for other preventive medical services, including other preventive prescription medications and devices. According to the plaintiff’s amended complaint, filed on September 6, 2000, the failure to provide coverage for prescription contraception treated medication needed for a pregnancy-related condition less favorably than medication needed for other medical conditions; it therefore constituted facial sex discrimination.
On September 15, 2000, the plaintiffs filed motion to certify a class, which was granted on December 14, 2000. The class consisted of all female employees of Bartell who at any time after December 29, 1997 were enrolled in Bartell’s prescription benefit plan for non-union employees while using prescription contraceptives.
On March 23, 2001, the plaintiffs filed a motion for summary judgment on their disparate impact claims. On June 12, 2001, the court (Judge Robert S. Lasnik) granted plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment on those claims. Erickson v. Bartell Drug Co., 114 F. Supp. 2d 1256 (W.D. Wash. 2001).
On December 3, 2002, the plaintiffs and the defendant filed a joint motion for approval of a class action settlement. The same day, the court (Judge Lasnik) granted the motion and approved the settlement. The settlement required Bartell to provide prescription contraceptive coverage to its non-union employees and considerable compensation to the plaintiff class. According to the proposed settlement filed with the court, Bartell agreed to cover all relevant services and FDA-approved methods of prescription contraception to the same extent that it covers other drugs, devices and preventive care. For class members employed at the time, Bartell agreed to either provide future contraception-related services, with no co-payments, until December 31, 2006, or pay the class member $800 for incurred out-of-pocket costs. For class members no longer employed, Bartell agreed to pay up to $800 for incurred out-of-pocket expense, with a minimum payment of $100. Additionally, Bartell paid the class representative $7,246 in damages and $180,000 for attorneys fees.
On March 6, 2003, the court (Judge Lasnik) issued a final order granting the joint motion to dismiss with prejudice, terminating the case.Nathaniel Koslof - 04/24/2008