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Case Name Waisome v. Port Authority of New York and New Jersey EE-NY-0229
Docket / Court 88 Civ. 1234 (KTD) ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Case Summary
On February 22, 1988 plaintiffs brought a complaint against their employer New York / New Jersey Port Authority in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging Title VII violations on account of their race, African-American. The complaint was a class action on behalf ... read more >
On February 22, 1988 plaintiffs brought a complaint against their employer New York / New Jersey Port Authority in United States District Court for the Southern District of New York alleging Title VII violations on account of their race, African-American. The complaint was a class action on behalf of the named plaintiffs and those similarly situated that the 1986-1987 promotional examinations had a disparate impact on black officers.

On January 29, 1991, Judge Kevin Duffy of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York dismissed the case and granted summary judgment for the defendants claiming that the plaintiffs failed to show, prima facie, a disparate impact despite certifying the plaintiff class. The case was than closed on February 11, 1991. However, the case was remanded by the United States Court of Appeals back to the District Court and reopened on December 17, 1991.

Eventually, on September 28, 1992 Judge Duffy of the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York signed a consent decree and granted judgment in favor of the plaintiffs. The consent decree required the Port Authority to pay $250,000 to the NAACP Defense Fund as well as certain sums to the named plaintiffs for representing the class. The consent decree also promoted five black members from 1986 and two from 1990 based on seniority and gave $8,000 in damages to members of the certified class from the 1990 test.

The case was appealed and argued before Judge Michael B. Mukasey of the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit and the consent decree was upheld. The case in the court of appeals combined both the Waisome I case and another similar case involving plaintiffs who took the 1990 promotional test. It dismissed, affirmed and reversed the two decision in parts, but the consent decree remained unaffected.

David Miller - 01/03/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Content of Injunction
Promotion
Retroactive Senority
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Promotion
Seniority
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Port Authority of New York and New Jersey
Plaintiff Description Waisome, McMillian, Keith, Bethea, Ellsworth Corum, Jr., King, and Upshur are black officers who took the 1986-87 promotional examination representing themselves and other black officers similarly situated
Indexed Lawyer Organizations NAACP Legal Defense Fund
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1994
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)
88−cv−01234&# (S.D.N.Y.) 01/04/1994
EE-NY-0229-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 01/29/1991 (758 F.Supp. 171) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0229-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Duffy, Kevin Thomas (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0229-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers Axelrod, Michael Charles (New York)
EE-NY-0229-9000
Lesser, Joseph (New York)
EE-NY-0229-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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