University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Newsome v. Up-To-Date Laundry Inc. EE-MD-0138
Docket / Court 1:01-cv-2257 ( D. Md. )
State/Territory Maryland
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On August 1st 2001, hundreds of African American employees filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against their employer, Up-To-Date Laundry, Inc. in the U.S. District for the District of Maryland, Northern Division. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for ... read more >
On August 1st 2001, hundreds of African American employees filed a class action lawsuit under 42 U.S.C. § 1981 against their employer, Up-To-Date Laundry, Inc. in the U.S. District for the District of Maryland, Northern Division. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief, claiming that defendants had engaged in a pattern and practice of racial discrimination against African American employees in the workplace. The plaintiffs claimed they had experienced race discrimination and a hostile working environment. Specifically, the plaintiffs claimed they had been subjected to racial slurs within the workplace. In addition, plaintiffs had been discriminated against in regards to wages earned as well as hours worked.

On March 31st, 2004, a settlement conference was held before Magistrate Judge Gauvey and the parties entered into a settlement agreement.

On January 23rd, 2004, the Court (Judge William D. Quarles) approved plaintiffs' motion for class certification and denied defendants' motion for partial summary judgment. The court certified a class consisting of all African Americans employed by the company as hourly workers in non-management positions in Departments 100 through 500 and 1001 from August 1st, 1998 through January 23rd, 2004.

On November 23rd, 2004, the Court (Judge William D. Quarles) approved a consent decree which required the company to pay $1.83 million to the class. The Consent Decree also provided injunctive relief prohibiting future race-based discrimination, and called for extensive annual non-discrimination training for employees and management. The Consent Decree also required the company to maintain independent monitors and oversight, and to implement a complaint process to handle racial discrimination for employees. Additionally, the Consent Decree required the company to draft, implement, and enforce a detailed policy to prevent racial harassment, to be distributed all current and newly hired employees, including prorocols for disciplinary action for violations, reporting and investigation procedures.

Julianne Nowicki - 07/15/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Up-To-Date Laundry, Inc.
Plaintiff Description African-Americans employed by UTDL as hourly workers within non-management positions in Departments 100 through 500 and 1001 anytime from August 1, 1998 through January 23, 2004
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 Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2001 - 2004
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)
1:01-cv-2257 (D. Md.) 03/25/2010
EE-MD-0138-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
DEFENDANTS’ MOTION FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT 06/26/2003
EE-MD-0138-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION 06/26/2003
EE-MD-0138-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING MOTION OF PLAINTIFF TO CERTIFY CLASS AND DENYING MOTION OF DEFENDANT FOR PARTIAL SUMMARY JUDGMENT 01/23/2004 (D. Md.)
EE-MD-0138-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
PLAINTIFFS’ UNOPPOSED MOTION FOR APPROVAL OF NOTICE TO CLASS 06/30/2004
EE-MD-0138-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER APPROVING NOTICE OF SETTLEMENT OF CLASS ACTION 07/06/2004 (D. Md.)
EE-MD-0138-0005.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
CONSENT DECREE 11/23/2004
EE-MD-0138-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
PLAINTIFFS’ MOTION TO DISBURSE UNDISTRIBUTED FUNDS AND TERMINATE CONSENT DECREE 12/21/2009
EE-MD-0138-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER GRANTING MOTION OF PLAINTIFFS TO DISBURSE UNDISTRIBUTED FUNDS AND TERMINATE CONSENT DECREE 03/25/2010 (D. Md.)
EE-MD-0138-0008.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Quarles, William D. Jr. (D. Md.)
EE-MD-0138-0003 | EE-MD-0138-0005 | EE-MD-0138-0006 | EE-MD-0138-0008
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Grdina, Elizabeth Betty (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0138-0002 | EE-MD-0138-0006 | EE-MD-0138-9000
Huron, Douglas (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0138-0002 | EE-MD-0138-0004 | EE-MD-0138-0006 | EE-MD-0138-0007 | EE-MD-0138-9000
Kramer, Tammany Morgan (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0138-0007 | EE-MD-0138-9000
Salzman, Richard A. (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0138-0002 | EE-MD-0138-0004 | EE-MD-0138-0006
Simon, Philip J. (District of Columbia)
EE-MD-0138-0002 | EE-MD-0138-0004 | EE-MD-0138-0006 | EE-MD-0138-0007 | EE-MD-0138-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Phelan, Jeanne M. (Maryland)
EE-MD-0138-0001 | EE-MD-0138-0006 | EE-MD-0138-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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