University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name WRIGHT v. SOUTH CENTRAL BELL EE-AL-0105
Docket / Court 2:93-CV-01530 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On July 30, 1993, African American employees of South Central Bell filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, against their employer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the ... read more >
On July 30, 1993, African American employees of South Central Bell filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, against their employer in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Alabama. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for injunctive and compensatory relief, claiming that South Central Bell had discriminated against them on the basis of their race. Specifically, Plaintiffs claimed that Defendant's use of the Technical Telephone Ability Battery (T-Tab) test had an adverse impact on Defendant's African American employees, that the test was not validated, and that the test was not justified by business necessity.

The Court (Judge U.W. Clemon) certified the class on October 25, 1994. and

On March 30, 2001, the Court denied a motion by another employee to intervene in the case because it was untimely. The class was defined as "all African Americans who, at any time since September 2, 1990, have taken and failed to pass the Technical Telephone Ability Battery (T-Tab) Test administered by defendant South Central Bell."

The case was bifurcated for trial, and the Court issued its opinion regarding liability on September 10, 2002. The Court found that the T-Tab test had an adverse impact on black employees, that the test was not related to job performance, and that Defendant failed to consider alternative selection methods that would have caused a less adverse impact.

On February 7, 2003, the Court dismissed the case, without prejudice to the right of the parties to present the Court a proposed consent decree no later than March 1, 2003.

The parties filed a Joint Motion and Stipulation concerning the proposed Settlement Agreement on March 13, 2003.

The Court issued an Order preliminarily approving the proposed settlement agreement on March 17, 2003. Defendant agreed to pay $6,000,000 to Plaintiffs. The settlement fund was to be allocated among the class members. Defendant also agreed to pay Plaintiffs' attorneys' fees and costs.

The Court issued final approval of the parties' settlement agreement on June 6, 2003. The Settlement deals only with the monetary award, but the Defendants stopped using the test in 1995 during the litigation.

Haley Waller - 11/13/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Promotion
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) South Central Bell
Plaintiff Description African American employees of South Central Bell
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
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2003
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)
2:93-cv-01530-UWC (N.D. Ala.) 03/06/2006
EE-AL-0105-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
ORDER DENYING MOTION TO INTERVENE 03/30/2001 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0105-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
MEMORANDUM OPINION ON LIABILITY ISSUE 09/10/2002 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0105-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
DEFENDANT'S RENEWED MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT BASED ON MR. WRIGHT'S FAILURE TO FILE A TIMELY EEOC CHARGE AND MOTION TO DECERTIFY THE CLASS 02/03/2003
EE-AL-0105-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER OF DISMISSAL WITHOUT PREJUDICE 02/07/2003 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0105-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
JOINT MOTION AND STIPULATION CONCERNING PROPOSED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 03/13/2003
EE-AL-0105-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
ORDER PRELIMINARILY APPROVING PROPOSED SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT 03/17/2003 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0105-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
FINAL APPROVAL OF SETTLEMENT AND ORDER OF DISMISSAL 06/06/2003 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0105-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Clemon, U. W. (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0105-0002 | EE-AL-0105-0004 | EE-AL-0105-0005 | EE-AL-0105-0006 | EE-AL-0105-0007 | EE-AL-0105-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Childs, Robert F. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0105-0003 | EE-AL-0105-9000
Fisher, Samuel (Alabama)
EE-AL-0105-0003 | EE-AL-0105-9000
Wiggins, Robert L Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0105-0003 | EE-AL-0105-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Barker, W. Corey (Georgia)
EE-AL-0105-0001 | EE-AL-0105-0003 | EE-AL-0105-9000
Jackson, Robert L III (Illinois)
EE-AL-0105-0001 | EE-AL-0105-0003 | EE-AL-0105-9000
Weirich, C. Geoffrey (Georgia)
EE-AL-0105-0001 | EE-AL-0105-0003 | EE-AL-0105-9000
White, J. Mark (Alabama)
EE-AL-0105-0003 | EE-AL-0105-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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