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Case Name Reynolds v. Alabama Department of Transportation EE-AL-0101
Docket / Court 2:85-cv-00665 ( M.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On May 21, 1985 a group of African American applicants for merit positions and employees eligible for promotion to merit positions at the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) filed suit against ALDOT and other state agencies in the United States District Court for the Middle District of ... read more >
On May 21, 1985 a group of African American applicants for merit positions and employees eligible for promotion to merit positions at the Alabama Department of Transportation (ALDOT) filed suit against ALDOT and other state agencies in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Alabama. They alleged that the defendants had engaged in a variety of discriminatory practices against African Americans and had violated 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and Title VII. They claimed that the defendants had engaged in a pattern or practice of discriminatory behavior that had led to disparate treatment of African Americans and had a disparate impact upon them. Specifically they alleged that the defendants discriminated in hiring, testing, promotions, and training by manipulating the hiring and promotion procedures so as to exclude African Americans from all but menial jobs. They sought injunctive relief and damages.

On October 8, 1986 the district court (Judge Myron Thompson) certified a class consisting of African American applicants for merit positions and current employees eligible for promotion to such positions. In 1988 and 1991 the parties reached settlements but they were not approved due to numerous objections by class members and prospective intervenors. In 1992 a partial trial occurred during which the parties asked for a recess to negotiate a consent decree. They succeeded but before the consent decree was approved by the court several white employees of ALDOT intervened to challenge it. The court (Judge Thompson) subsequently certified a class for these intervenors consisting of all of the non-black employees of ALDOT.

The consent decree was then divided into three parts: provisions all parties agreed were race neutral, provisions that the intervenors deemed race conscious but the plaintiffs contended were race neutral, and provisions that all parties agreed were race conscious. On March 16, 1994 the court (Judge Thompson) approved a consent decree consisting of the first part alone. The consent decree prohibited discrimination, required objective hiring criteria, required the defendants to follow hiring and promotion protocols, and required the defendants to recruit qualified African Americans. It provided for reporting to the court. It also required the defendant to specify minimum qualifications only when they were actually required for the job and to use objective testing methods. The defendant further agreed to hire and promote a number of African Americans. Finally, the agreement provided for further adjudication of individual damage claims to remedy past discrimination.

Disputes quickly arose over the implementation of the consent decree and what damages or injunctive relief should be imposed by its terms. On April 23, 1996 the court (Judge Thompson) interpreted the hiring provisions of the consent decree in favor of the plaintiffs and ordered compliance. The court (Judge Thompson) also proceeded to consider the individual claims of class members for damages and other injunctive relief pursuant to the consent decree. On April 16, 1997 this resulted in an award of $34,732,487 for backpay but on February 2, 2000 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Tjoflat, Dubina, and Story) reversed holding that the consent decree had not operated as an admission of liability.

On July 15, 1997 the court (Judge Thompson) appointed a monitor to facilitate implementation. A trial was conducted on the remaining issues and on January 23, 1998 the court issued an injunction implementing one portion of the previous consent decrees that had not been approved concerning reclassification of employees. On May 23, 2001, however, the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Tjoflat, Hull, and Propst) vacated this ruling. On March 3, 1998 the court (Judge Thompson) issued an injunction forbidding the defendants from using a grievance procedure to avoid provisions of the consent decree but on March 29, 2000 the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Judges Tjoflat, Dubina, and Story) vacated this order because it prevented the intervenors from using the grievance process developed in the consent decree.

On June 25, 1998 the court (Judge Thompson) found the defendants in civil contempt for their continued failure to implement most of the consent decree. On January 31, 2000 the court (Judge Thompson) again found the defendants in civil contempt and imposed sanctions totaling $42,000 a week. Subsequent to the ruling of the Eleventh Circuit on February 2, 2000 reversing the award of damages litigation regarding damages resumed until the court (Judge Thompson) approved a settlement on September 25, 2001 that awarded the plaintiffs up to $59.6 million. The same ruling also approved a settlement between the intervenors and the defendants. These settlements provided for a one year moratorium on the sanctions for continued civil contempt.

Litigation continued regarding the defendants’ civil contempt and over the next several years the court found that the defendant had come into compliance with portions of the consent decree and lifted some of the sanctions. On August 30, 2005 the court returned 85% of the fines relating to two of the remaining contempt provisions. The case is currently ongoing and there have been numerous motions and opinions concerning contempt allegations by individuals seeking relief.

Michael Perry - 11/16/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Hire
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Promotion
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Retroactive Senority
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Promotion
Testing
Training
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1983
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Alabama Department of Transportation
Alabama State Personnel Department
Plaintiff Description All black employees of the Alabama Department of Transportation since may 21, 1979.
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 Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1994 - 2000
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
2:85-cv-00665-MHT-CSC (M.D. Ala.) 04/10/2008
EE-AL-0101-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion (Approving Portion I of the Consent Decree) 03/16/1994 (1994 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 20921) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-7500 WESTLAW | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
ORDER REGARDING ATTORNEY'S FEES AND EXPENSES FOR PLAINTIFFS FOR WORK THROUGH MAY 2, 1994 11/21/1995 (926 F.Supp. 1448) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Interpreting and Enforcing a Portion of the 1994 Consent Decree) 04/23/1996 (1996 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10691) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-7502 WESTLAW | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Requiring the appointment of a monitor to facilitate the implementation of the consent decree) 07/15/1997 (972 F.Supp. 566) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0006 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Adopting one portion of the proposed consent decree) 01/23/1998 (996 F.Supp. 1118) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0007 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Issuing an injunction forbidding the defendant from using grievance procedures to violate the consent decree) 03/03/1998 (996 F.Supp. 1130) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0008 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Explaining the award of backpay to plaintiffs) 03/18/1998 (996 F.Supp. 1156) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0009 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Denying defendants' motion for clarification of its obligations under the consent decree) 05/29/1998 (1998 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10711) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-7507 WESTLAW | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Imposing sanctions on defendants for contempt) 07/08/1998 (10 F.Supp.2d 1263) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0010 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Issuing and injunction requiring defendants to comply with and enforce their anti-discrimination and harassment policy) 07/11/1998 (8 F.Supp.2d 1314) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Finding the defendants to be in civil contempt and fashioning remedies) 01/31/2000 (84 F.Supp.2d 1339) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0013 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion(Vacating the district court's ruling that the consent decree was an admission and vacating the award of backpay) 02/02/2000 (202 F.3d 1303)
EE-AL-0101-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Opinion (Vacating the district court's preliminary injunction forbidding intervenors of availing themselves of the new race-neutral greivance procedures) 03/29/2000 (207 F.3d 1288)
EE-AL-0101-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Opinion (Vacating an injunction issued by the district court) 05/23/2001 (251 F.3d 1350)
EE-AL-0101-0003 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | External Link | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Court of Appeals website
Opinion (Denying approval of a proposed settlement) 08/29/2001 (261 F.Supp.2d 1331) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0014 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Approving slightly modified settlement) 09/25/2001 (265 F.Supp.2d 1289) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0015 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Denying plaintiff's motion for civil contempt relating to civil service examinations) 12/19/2003 (295 F.Supp.2d 1298) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0016 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Ordering the return of a portion of the civil contempt fines) 08/30/2005 (2005 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 36688) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-7515 WESTLAW | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Allowing a modification to greivance procedures and finding the defendant in compliance with a portion of the consent decree) 12/06/2006 (2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 88389) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-7516 WESTLAW | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT ON PLAINTIFFS' INDIVIDUAL CONTEMPT CLAIMS 06/19/2008 (2008 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 107721) (M.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-7517 WESTLAW | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Coody, Charles S. (S.D. Ala.) [Magistrate]
EE-AL-0101-9000
Dubina, Joel Fredrick (M.D. Ala., Eleventh Circuit)
EE-AL-0101-0001 | EE-AL-0101-0002
Hull, Frank M. (N.D. Ga., Eleventh Circuit)
EE-AL-0101-0003
Propst, Robert Bruce (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0003
Story, Richard W. (N.D. Ga.)
EE-AL-0101-0001 | EE-AL-0101-0002
Thompson, Myron Herbert (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0101-0005 | EE-AL-0101-0006 | EE-AL-0101-0007 | EE-AL-0101-0008 | EE-AL-0101-0009 | EE-AL-0101-0010 | EE-AL-0101-0011 | EE-AL-0101-0013 | EE-AL-0101-0014 | EE-AL-0101-0015 | EE-AL-0101-0016 | EE-AL-0101-7500 | EE-AL-0101-7502 | EE-AL-0101-7507 | EE-AL-0101-7515 | EE-AL-0101-7516 | EE-AL-0101-9000
Tjoflat, Gerald Bard (M.D. Fla., Fifth Circuit, Eleventh Circuit)
EE-AL-0101-0001 | EE-AL-0101-0002 | EE-AL-0101-0003
Monitors/Masters Edelstein, Laurie (California)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Faulk, Winn S. L. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Gonzalez, Carlos A. (Georgia)
EE-AL-0101-7517
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Russell Wayne (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Alstyne, Abigail Pruyn Van (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Anthony, Rebecca (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Atha, Steven L. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Blizzard, Henry Wallace III (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Brown, Gary L (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Calamusa, Rocco Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Childs, Robert F. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Clark, Richard Scott (California)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Cooper, James Michael (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Donahue, Susan Gale (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Fitzpatrick , Raymond P. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Gaines, Eden J. Brown (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Gill, Richard Hamilton (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Goldman, C. Paige (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Harris, Rick (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Kendrick, Leonard Gilbert (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Mattison, Deborah A. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
McPhillips, Julian Lenwood Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Simon, Kell Ascher (Texas)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Wiggins, Gregory O'Dell (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Wiggins, Ann K. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Wiggins, Robert L Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Abbot, Richard Taylor Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Agricola, Algert Swanson Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Barnett, Henry Clay Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Bates, Roger Lee (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Borden, Lisa Wright (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Boyd, David R. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Byrne, David Bryson Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Byrne, Alice Ann (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Campbell, Andrew P (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Forrester, Nathan A. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Gardner, William F. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Gray, William Patton Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Hoaglund, Eric Daniel (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Huffaker, R. Austin Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Ippolito, Jim Robert Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Isler, Mai Lan Fogal (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Jackson, Christina Harris (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Leonard, Ellen Ruth (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Long-Daniels, David Wayne (Georgia)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Loper, David M. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Lyons, Champ Jr (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Powell, Charles A. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Proctor, Laura Ellison (Tennessee)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Pryor, William Holcombe Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Redmond, Wesley Clyde (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Sheffield, Erica L. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Shinbaum, Kenneth Jay (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-7517 | EE-AL-0101-9000
Sims, Patrick H. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Sinclair, Thomas O'Neal (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Smith, Jacquelyn Demetrius (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Stuedeman, Amy L. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Thomas, William Kenneth (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Tunstill, Wendy Tyler (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Waggoner, Mark T (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Weller, Christopher W. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
York, Cinda Ruth (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Yuengert, Anne R (Alabama)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Other Lawyers Arnwine, Barbara R. (District of Columbia)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Chachkin, Norman J. (New York)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Ferrante, Teresa A. (District of Columbia)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Henderson, Thomas J. (District of Columbia)
EE-AL-0101-9000
Jones, Elaine R. (New York)
EE-AL-0101-9000

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