University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name McLaurin v. National Railroad Passenger Corp. ("Amtrack") EE-DC-0035
Docket / Court 1:98-cv-02019-EGS ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On August 20, 1998, several African-American employees filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation ("Amtrak") in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for ... read more >
On August 20, 1998, several African-American employees filed a complaint under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against the National Railroad Passenger Corporation ("Amtrak") in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory and injunctive relief. Specifically, the plaintiffs argued that they had received lower wages than their white counterparts. The plaintiffs alleged racial discrimination and sought to represent a class of similarly situated employees. The class was approved and consisted of African-American management employees at Amtrak.

On November 2, 1999, the court (Judge Emmet G. Sullivan) approved a consent decree. The consent decree provided for the performance of a compensation study, the findings of which the parties agreed to adopt. The compensation changes led to over $500,000 in salary adjustments for class members still employed by Amtrak, as well as lump sum payments for those plaintiffs who had terminated their employment with Amtrak since October 1, 2002. McLaurin v. National Ry. Passenger Corp., 311 F. Supp. 2d 61 (D.D.C. 2004).

On March 30, 2004, the court (Judge Sullivan) granted in part the plaintiffs' motion to enforce the consent decree. The consent decree was enforced to the extent that relief was enforced for only those underpaid to a statistically significant degree as determined by an expert's compensation analysis, and not merely all those underpaid. Additionally, the court ordered the enforcement that each employee's salary must be adjusted to the "predicted salary" and not just to the point where the difference isn't statistically significant.

The parties stipulated to the changes, and on November 24, 2004, the court signed the stipulation. The case is closed.

Emily Kuznick - 04/09/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Utilize objective job description
Defendant-type
Transportation
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) National Railroad Passenger Corporation ("Amtrak")
Plaintiff Description African-American management employees of Amtrak who were allegedly discriminated against in terms of their pay on the basis of race.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
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 2004
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)
1:98-cv-02019-EGS (D.D.C.) 11/26/2004
EE-DC-0035-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Order (Granting In Part and Denying In Part Plaintiffs' Motion for Enforcement of the Consent Decree) 03/30/2004 (311 F.Supp.2d 61) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0035-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Stipulation and Order 11/24/2004 (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0035-0001.pdf | Detail
Judges Sullivan, Emmet G. (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Buchanan, Avis E. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000
Hudson, Ozell (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000
Lieder, Michael D. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0035-0001 | EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000
Rainer, Andrew A. (Massachusetts)
EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000
Sprenger, Paul (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Reinert, Thomas Edward Jr (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0035-0001 | EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000
Other Lawyers Miller, Richard Anthony (Maryland)
EE-DC-0035-0002 | EE-DC-0035-9000

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