University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Conanan v. Powell EE-DC-0049
Docket / Court 1:00 CV 03091 ( D.D.C. )
State/Territory District of Columbia
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
Black employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation filed a class action complaint against the agency under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging racial discrimination in promotions. The plaintiffs filed their complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia ... read more >
Black employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation filed a class action complaint against the agency under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging racial discrimination in promotions. The plaintiffs filed their complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge Ellen S. Huvelle.)

On November 8, 1993, Plaintiffs filed an administrative class action complaint with the FDIC, alleging race discrimination in promotions. The complaint cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. The plaintiffs sought monetary and injunctive relief. After the FDIC forwarded the complaint, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) certified the class on January 13, 1998. However, the parties disputed the definition of the class and the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations ordered the parties, on February 4, 1999, to submit the issue to the Administrative Judge assigned to the complaint. Instead, however, the parties entered mediation with Linda Singer of ADR Associates, which lead to an agreement on December 22, 2000. The parties filed a new class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The administrative action was dismissed on March 8, 2001.



In an unpublished order on April 6, 2001, the Court granted a motion for class certification. In an unpublished order on November 26, 2001, the court approved the consent decree. The consent decree was to last three years from the date of approval. It applied to a settlement class consisting of "All African-Americans employed by the FDIC in any capacity (whether permanent, temporary, or term, including, without limitation, all General/Corporate Grade, Liquidation Grade and Wage Grade/Prevailing Rate employees, but excluding any persons to the extent that their employment at the FDIC is or was solely in the capacity of student intern) at any time from May 13, 1992, to March 31, 2001." The FDIC agreed to pay $14m in monetary damages including back pay, front pay, employment benefits, interest, and $2m in attorneys' fees. Of this total, $500,000 would go to class representatives. Other class members would receive damages based on a formula. The FDIC would pay interest only if an appeal delayed payment by 60 days after the effective date of the consent decree.

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The FDIC also agreed to pay a number of fees, including: a maximum of $110,000 to the plaintiffs' expert, who would determine class awards; a maximum of $10,000 to the claim administrator; a maximum of $100,000 in attorneys fees and expenses to defend the decree in the Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary; up to $15,000 per year for monitoring and compliance; fees of a neutral expert up to $100,000 for monitoring and compliance, a maximum of $50,000 for attorneys' fees for monitoring and compliance and $45,000 for mediation; $30,000 for a mediator for the first year, $25,000 for the second year, and $20,000 for the third year, and employer taxes on payments from the back pay fund.

The consent decree also contained "equitable relief," which required that the FDIC work with a neutral expert to create a new system for promotions for competitive and non-competitive positions, which would include interview guidelines and objective criteria for promotion. The FDIC agreed that supervisors would make job assignments in a way as to maximize advancement potential. The FDIC agreed to train all personnel in diversity and in the new system of promotions and to cooperate with class counsel and the neutral expert in monitoring implementation of the equitable relief. On December 3, 2002, the Court granted a motion for approval of final distribution of the settlement proceeds pursuant to the Consent Decree.

In an unpublished order on May 15, 2001, Judge Ellen S. Huvelle denied a motion by certain Claimants to intervene. The only activity in the Court of Appeals was an unpublished per curiam order affirming the District Court's denial of the motion to intervene. Conanan v. Tanoue, No. 01-5174, 2001 WL 1488621 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 16, 2001).

Eric Weiler - 06/26/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Goals and Timekeeping
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitor/Master
Monitoring
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Promotion
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Discrimination-area
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation
Plaintiff Description Three black employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation filing on behalf of themselves and similarly situated individuals
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2001 - 2004
Case Closing Year 2001
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing EE-DC-0069 : Collins v. Powell (D.D.C.)
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)
01-5174 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 02/12/2002
EE-DC-0049-9001 PDF | Detail
Westlaw
1:00-cv-3091 (D.D.C.) 04/30/2003
EE-DC-0049-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
E.E.O.C. Administrative Appeal [Affirming In Part And Reversing In Part Agency's Decision To Dismiss The Plaintiffs' Allegations] 01/13/1998 (1998 WL 25234)
EE-DC-0049-0004 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Granting Plaintiffs' Motion For Class Certification] 04/06/2001 (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0049-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 05/07/2001
EE-DC-0049-0001 PDF | External Link | Detail
Order [On Rehearing En Banc Upholding District Court's Denial Of Motion To Intervene] 10/16/2001 (2001 WL 1488621 / 2001 U.S.App.LEXIS 25882)
EE-DC-0049-0005 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order [Granting Final Approval of Consent Decree] 11/26/2001 (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0049-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Blumenthal, Ronnie Court not on record
EE-DC-0049-0004
Edwards, Harry Thomas (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0049-0005 | EE-DC-0049-9001
Ginsburg, Douglas Howard (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Henderson, Karen LeCraft (D.C. Circuit, D.S.C.)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Huvelle, Ellen Segal (D.D.C.)
EE-DC-0049-0002 | EE-DC-0049-0003 | EE-DC-0049-9000 | EE-DC-0049-9001
Randolph, Arthur Raymond (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Rogers, John M. (Sixth Circuit)
EE-DC-0049-0005
Sentelle, David Bryan (D.C. Circuit, W.D.N.C.)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Williams, Stephen Fain (D.C. Circuit)
EE-DC-0049-0005 | EE-DC-0049-9001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Buchanan, Avis E. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-0001 | EE-DC-0049-9000 | EE-DC-0049-9001
Malveaux, Suzette Marie (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-0001 | EE-DC-0049-9001
Sellers, Joseph Marc (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-0001 | EE-DC-0049-9000 | EE-DC-0049-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Costantino, Cathy Anne (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-0001 | EE-DC-0049-9000
Duross, Ann Scharnikow (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Garland, Merrick B. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Norcross, Kathryn Ryan (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Pagano, Anthony F. III (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-0001
Rogers, Judith Ann Wilson (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Sarisky, Thomas James (Virginia)
EE-DC-0049-0001 | EE-DC-0049-9000
Tatel, David S. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-9001
Villarreal, Lisa M. (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-0001 | EE-DC-0049-9000
Williams, Stephen Fain (District of Columbia)
EE-DC-0049-0005 | EE-DC-0049-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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