University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name Fish v. St. Cloud State University EE-MN-0079
Docket / Court 6:96-CV-155 ( D. Minn. )
State/Territory Minnesota
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On June 4, 1996, female employees of St. Cloud State University ("SCSU")filed a lawsuit against the university in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. They alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. The plaintiffs, represented ... read more >
On June 4, 1996, female employees of St. Cloud State University ("SCSU")filed a lawsuit against the university in the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota. They alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked for $50,000 in damages, seeking back-pay and injunctive relief, because of alleged gender discrimination with respect to compensation, promotion and tenure, and terms and conditions of employment. It is noteworthy that a similar class action case was brought against the defendants in 1976, which resulted in a consent decree in which most class members were awarded back pay as well as adjustments in their rank and salary. Specifically in this case, the women faculty of SCSU contended that they were paid less than men for substantially similar work, and they had statistical evidence to support this contention. Further, the plaintiffs had evidence supporting that gender-based discrimination, harassment, and hostility were present in the workplace.

According to the PACER docket, on March 17, 1998 the court (Judge John R. Tunheim) granted the plaintiffs' motion to certify three classes of plaintiffs. First, a compensation class, consisting of "all female faculty of SCSU who are employed, have been employed or will be employed by SCSU and MNSCU from March 4, 1995 through the present, who receive less compensation because of their sex." Second, a promotion and/or tenure class, defined as "all female faculty of SCSU, who are employed, have been employed or will be employed by SCSU and MnSCU from March 4, 1995 through the present, who have not been promoted and/or tenured or have been promoted and/or tenured at slower rate because of their sex," and third, a terms, conditions and privileges of employment class, considered, "all female faculty of SCSU, who are employed, have been employed or will be employed by SCSU and MnSCU from March 4, 1995 through the present, who have been discriminated against in the terms, conditions and privileges of employment because of their sex."

According to documents linked to the PACER docket, on December 7, 2000 the parties entered into a settlement agreement. On March 26, 2001, the court (Judge Donovan W. Frank) issued an order for final approval of the class settlement agreement, and on June 12, 2001 the court granted the plaintiffs' motion for attorney fees. The settlement granted back-pay and injunctive relief, including salary adjustment, acknowledging the hostile work environment and harassment present at SCSU and granting compensation accordingly.

On July 19, 2002, the United States Court of Appeals for the Eighth Circuit affirmed the District Court's ruling. Fish v. St. Cloud State University, 295 F.3d 849 (2002).

Emily Kuznick - 07/25/2010


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-area
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) St. Cloud State University
Plaintiff Description 3 classes of female faculty, including a compensation class; a promotion and tenure class; and a terms of employment class.
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 2000
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
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)
6:96-cv-00155-DWF-RLE (D. Minn.) 09/09/2002
EE-MN-0079-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum, Opinion, and Order 09/28/1999 (D. Minn.)
EE-MN-0079-0001.pdf | Detail
Order for final approval of class settlement agreement 03/26/2001 (2001 WL 392038) (D. Minn.)
EE-MN-0079-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Attorneys' Fees 06/12/2001 (2001 WL 667778) (D. Minn.)
EE-MN-0079-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Opinion 07/19/2002 (295 F.3d 849)
EE-MN-0079-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion and Order on Plaintiffs' Motion for Supplemental Attorneys' Fees 08/26/2002 (D. Minn.)
EE-MN-0079-0004.pdf | Detail
Judges Erickson, Raymond L. (D. Minn.) [Magistrate]
EE-MN-0079-9000
Frank, Donovan W. (D. Minn.)
EE-MN-0079-0001 | EE-MN-0079-0002 | EE-MN-0079-0003 | EE-MN-0079-0004 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Murphy, Diana E. (Eighth Circuit, D. Minn.)
EE-MN-0079-0005
Tunheim, John R. (D. Minn.)
EE-MN-0079-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Buhr, Dorothy J. (Texas)
EE-MN-0079-0001 | EE-MN-0079-0002 | EE-MN-0079-0003 | EE-MN-0079-0004 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Friederichs, Tammy P. (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-0001 | EE-MN-0079-0002 | EE-MN-0079-0003 | EE-MN-0079-0004 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Futterman, Ronald L. (Illinois)
EE-MN-0079-0002 | EE-MN-0079-0003 | EE-MN-0079-0004 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Sisam, Edwin L (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-0001 | EE-MN-0079-0002 | EE-MN-0079-0003 | EE-MN-0079-0004 | EE-MN-0079-0005 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Wardell, Laurie Arden (Illinois)
EE-MN-0079-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cunningham, Gary R. (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-0001 | EE-MN-0079-0002 | EE-MN-0079-0003 | EE-MN-0079-0004 | EE-MN-0079-0005 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Laine, Edward M (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-9000
Meyer, Carey S (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-0001 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Rowley, David A (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-9000
Sonnenberg, Patricia A (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-9000
Wright, Melissa L (Minnesota)
EE-MN-0079-0001 | EE-MN-0079-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -