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Case Name PUENTE v. STATE OF ARIZONA EE-AZ-0128
Docket / Court 2:97-CV-01734 ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On August 15, 1997 plaintiffs filed suit against their employer, the Arizona Department of Transportation, alleging that it had racially discriminated against Hispanics in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e) in the United States District Court for ... read more >
On August 15, 1997 plaintiffs filed suit against their employer, the Arizona Department of Transportation, alleging that it had racially discriminated against Hispanics in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and Title VII (42 U.S.C. § 2000e) in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Specifically they alleged that the defendant had engaged in discrimination by using unfair hiring and promotion practices, engaging in inadequate training, and creating a hostile work environment for Hispanic employees.

On March 15, 1999 the district court (Judge Roger Strand) certified a plaintiff class consisting of all applicants to and employees of the defendants. On December 19, 2000 the district court (Judge Strand) approved and entered a consent decree between the parties. The consent decree provided that the defendant would use neutral hiring and promoting protocols and make opportunities available to Hispanics, conduct employee evaluations in a neutral manner, forbid discrimination and any creation of a hostile work environment, hire an outside consultant to train employees on how to best implement the decree, accept a monitor, and institute a complaint resolution procedure. It also provided that the defendant would pay plaintiffs' attorneys fees and that the named class representatives could seek damages for past discrimination.

Five of the class representatives sought damages and bench trials were held by Magistrate Judge Virginia Mathis in 2003. Reports and recommendations in favor of the defendant were issued in all five cases. On April 10 and 11, 2007 the district court (Judge Strand) entered final judgment on these claims. The court adopted the Magistrate's Report in favor of the defendant regarding four of the individual claims, making minor changes to three of them. On the fifth claim the court adopted the Report in favor of the defendant in part put entered judgment in favor of the plaintiff regarding allegations of creating a hostile work environment. This plaintiff was awarded $18,000 plus fees.

Michael Perry - 10/09/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Training
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1983
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Arizona Department of Transportation
Plaintiff Description Hispanic applicants to and employees of the Arizona Department of Transportation
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 2000 - 2002
Case Closing Year 2007
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)
2:97-CV-01734 (D. Ariz.) 09/27/2007
EE-AZ-0128-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Consent Decree 12/19/2000
EE-AZ-0128-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion (Adopting the magistrate judge's report and recommendation in favor of the defendant with amendments) 04/10/2007 (2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27479) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0128-0002.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge in favor of the defendant) 04/10/2007 (2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27328) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0128-0003.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge in favor of the defendant with revisions) 04/10/2007 (2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27485) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0128-0004.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge in favor of the defendant with revisions) 04/10/2007 (2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27481) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0128-0005.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Opinion (Adopting the Report and Recommendation of the Magistrate Judge in favor of the defendant in part) 04/11/2007 (2007 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 27482) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0128-0006.pdf | LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: LexisNexis
Judges Bolton, Susan Ritchie (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0128-9000
Mathis, Virginia A. (D. Ariz.) [Magistrate]
EE-AZ-0128-0002 | EE-AZ-0128-0003 | EE-AZ-0128-0004 | EE-AZ-0128-0005 | EE-AZ-0128-0006 | EE-AZ-0128-9000
Strand, Roger Gordon (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0128-0001 | EE-AZ-0128-0002 | EE-AZ-0128-0003 | EE-AZ-0128-0004 | EE-AZ-0128-0005 | EE-AZ-0128-0006 | EE-AZ-0128-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bonnett, Daniel Lee (Arizona)
EE-AZ-0128-0001 | EE-AZ-0128-9000
Pochoda, Daniel Joseph (Arizona)
EE-AZ-0128-0001 | EE-AZ-0128-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Hudson, Lisa Kaye (Arizona)
EE-AZ-0128-0001 | EE-AZ-0128-9000
Sokol, Robert J. (Arizona)
EE-AZ-0128-0001 | EE-AZ-0128-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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