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Case Name Alexander v. Local 496, Laborers' Intern. Union of North America EE-OH-0102
Docket / Court 84-03916 ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On December 20, 1984, plaintiffs brought suit in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio alleging violations of Title VII and § 1981 against defendants The Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA) and their Local 496 chapter. The complaint alleges that the ... read more >
On December 20, 1984, plaintiffs brought suit in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio alleging violations of Title VII and § 1981 against defendants The Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA) and their Local 496 chapter. The complaint alleges that the defendants were denied membership and employment opportunities based on race (African American.)

In 1988 a class was certified consisting of 52 African Americans which was the entirety of all blacks who sought membership in Local 496 or employment by application or referral by the union at the Perry plant.

On December 10, 1991, after a bench trial on the issue of liability, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Judge Krenzler) held that (1) union's membership rule that required that an applicant be working "in the calling" had a disparate impact on black applicants and could not be used to justify the statistical underrepresentation of blacks in the union; (2) the black applicants made a sufficient showing of disparate treatment by the union; and (3) the international union could be held liable for discrimination by the local union, under either an agency theory or under a theory that the international union breached its duty to oppose discriminatory practices of an affiliated local.

The court found that both the Local 496 and LIUNA organizations had engaged in a system that created both disparate impact and treatment in violation of Title VII and § 1981, because even though many of the policies in question were facially neutral, they reinforced past patterns of discrimination.

On May 5, 1996, Judge Avern Cohn signed and entered a settlement, compromise and order whereby Local 496 agreed to pay $100,000 and LIUNA $200,000 and ordered additional damages and injunctive relief. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court's order granting plaintiffs a total of $1.8 million in damages as well as preference in employee referrals.

On October 18, 2004, after years of attempted appeals and other legal wrangling, the Court (Judge Avern Cohn) entered an order approving final distribution of class funds as detailed in a Revised Settlement, Compromise and Order approved May 22, 2002. That document is not available at the time of this writing.

David Miller - 01/03/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Content of Injunction
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Laborer's International Union of North America
Local Chapter 496, Laborer's International Union of North America
Plaintiff Description 52 African Americans who had sought membership in Local 496 or employment by application or referral by the union at the Perry plant.
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 None on record
Order Duration not on record
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)
84−cv−03916&# (N.D. Ohio) 10/18/2004
EE-OH-0102-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 12/10/1991 (778 F.Supp. 1401) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-0001 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order Approving Final Distribution of Class Funds and Assets 10/18/2004
EE-OH-0102-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cohn, Avern Levin (E.D. Mich.)
EE-OH-0102-0002
Hemann, Patricia A. (N.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
EE-OH-0102-9000
Krenzler, Alvin I. (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-0001
O'Malley, Kathleen McDonald (Fed. Circuit, N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Condon, Eric Anthony (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Corrigan, James G. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Kramer, Edward G. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Rossman, Alan C. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Belkin, Alan S. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Bernard, Thomas H. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Gallagher, Timothy J. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Green, Theodore T. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0102-9000
McNair, Eben O. IV (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Oberdank, Lawrence M. (Georgia)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Porcaro, James G. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0102-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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