University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Aliotta v. Gruenberg EE-DC-0042
Docket / Court 1:05-cv-02325-RMU ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On December 5, 2005, several former and current employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Division of Resolutions and Receiverships filed a lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq., against the agency in the United States District Court for ... read more >
On December 5, 2005, several former and current employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation's Division of Resolutions and Receiverships filed a lawsuit under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq., against the agency in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the Court for declaratory and injunctive relief, monetary damages, and compensation for litigation costs, alleging that the agency had illegally discriminated against them on the basis of age. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that, through the defendant's design and implementation of its Reduction in Force (RIF) in 2005, their employment was either terminated or else reduced in grade because of their age.

The FDIC is a U.S. government agency responsible for insuring money deposits at banks and savings associations. In the 1980s and 1990s, the FDIC was handling the fallout from failed financial institutions during the savings and loan crisis. As the banking crisis eased, so too did the FDIC's workload, and this spurred the 2005 RIF. Aliotta v. Gruenberg, 237 F.R.D. 7-8 (D.D.C. 2006). The defendant offered a buyout to division employees not eligible for full retirement. Aliotta v. Gruenberg, 237 F.R.D. 8 (D.D.C. 2006). The plaintiffs who did not accept the buyout were placed on a re-employment priority list, but the defendant allegedly filled the spots with younger and less senior employees who had no better qualifications. The remaining plaintiffs took a demotion in a different division to avoid being laid off. Aliotta v. Gruenberg, 237 F.R.D. 8 (D.D.C. 2006).

On October 31, 2005, the plaintiffs' attorney sent a letter to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) notifying it that a group of plaintiffs intended to file suit against the FDIC pursuant to the ADEA. Aliotta v. Gruenberg, 237 F.R.D. 8 (D.D.C. 2006). While the defendant argued that the plaintiffs did not notify the EEOC that this would be a class action, the Court (Judge Ricardo M. Urbina) stated that an explicit mention was not necessary. Aliotta v. Gruenberg, 237 F.R.D. 9 (D.D.C. 2006). Thus, on July 25, 2006, the Court granted plaintiffs' motion for class certification. The class consisted of former or current employees of the FDIC's DRR who were born on or before September 30, 1955 and who, as a result of the 2005 RIF, either accepted a buyout or reduction in grade or else were terminated from their positions in the DRR. Aliotta v. Gruenberg, 237 F.R.D. 13 (D.D.C. 2006).

The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment, and on September 18, 2008, the Court issued an opinion granting the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Aliotta v. Bair, 576 F.Supp.2d 113 (D.D.C. 2008). The court held that plaintiffs failed to demonstrate (1) that the buyouts or transfers were involuntary and (2) that the 2005 RIF, when considered independently, had a discriminatory effect on older employees. Aliotta v. Bair, 576 F.Supp.2d 113 (D.D.C. 2008).

The plaintiffs appealed the district court's decision, but on August 13, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia affirmed the district court's decision. Aliotta v. Bair, 2010 WL 3190828 (D.C. Cir. 2010). The case is now closed.

Jordan Rossen - 09/11/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Demotion
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.
Defendant(s) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Plaintiff Description Former and current employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation’s Division of Resolutions and Receiverships who were born on dates ranging from January 10, 1933 through September 30, 1995.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2009
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)
1:05-cv-02325-RMU (D.D.C.) 07/07/2009
EE-DC-0042-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Amended Complaint 02/08/2006
EE-DC-0042-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Answer and Affirmative Defenses 03/15/2006
EE-DC-0042-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion (Granting Plaintiffs' Motion For Class Certification) 07/25/2006 (237 F.R.D. 4) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0042-0010.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum In Support Of Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 02/25/2008 (2008 WL 2777692)
EE-DC-0042-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Plaintiffs' Memorandum In Support of Its Motion for Partial Summary Judgment On Liability 02/25/2008
EE-DC-0042-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Defendant's Memorandum in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment On the Question of Liability 03/07/2008 (2008 WL 2777694)
EE-DC-0042-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Plaintiffs' Memorandum In Opposition to Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment 03/10/2008 (2008 WL 2777695)
EE-DC-0042-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Memorandum Opinion (Granting the Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment; Denying the Plaintiffs' Motion for Partial Summary Judgment) 09/18/2008 (576 F.Supp.2d 113) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0042-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Memorandum Opinion (Denying Plaintiffs' Motion to Alter or Amend Judgment) 06/10/2009 (623 F.Supp.2d 73) (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0042-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Affirming Judgment of District Court) 08/13/2010 (614 F.3d 556)
EE-DC-0042-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Brown, Janice Rogers (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0042-0008
Ginsburg, Douglas Howard (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0042-0008
Sentelle, David Bryan (D.C. Circuit, W.D.N.C.)
EE-DC-0042-0008
Urbina, Ricardo M. (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0042-0007 | EE-DC-0042-0009 | EE-DC-0042-0010 | EE-DC-0042-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Marcus, Terri N. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0042-0001 | EE-DC-0042-9000
Rose, David L. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0042-0001 | EE-DC-0042-0003 | EE-DC-0042-0005 | EE-DC-0042-9000
Rose, Joshua N. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0042-0003
Rubinstein, Yuval (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0042-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Jones, William S. (Virginia)
EE-DC-0042-0002 | EE-DC-0042-0004 | EE-DC-0042-0006 | EE-DC-0042-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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