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Case Name United States v. State of New Jersey EE-NJ-0119
Docket / Court 2:10-cv-00091-KSH-MAS ( D.N.J. )
State/Territory New Jersey
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On January 7, 2010, the United States filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission. The U.S. claimed that the promotional practices established by the New ... read more >
On January 7, 2010, the United States filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission. The U.S. claimed that the promotional practices established by the New Jersey Civil Service Commission had an illegal disparate impact on African-American and Hispanic candidates for promotion to the rank of Police Sergeant. The U.S. Department of Justice sought a court order barring: written examinations as a pass/fail screening method for promotion to Police Sergeant, and certification of candidates for promotion to Police Sergeant from eligibility lists in descending-rank order; the U.S. also asked for retrospective remedies including back pay with interest and priority promotion with retroactive seniority to candidates affected by the allegedly discriminatory practices.

The case focused on New Jersey's written multiple-choice examination, which was used as a pass/fail screening mechanism for eligibility for promotion; this testing protocol resulted in a statistically significant gap in the percentage of African-American and Hispanic candidates placed on an eligibility list. The practice of certifying candidates for promotion from the eligibility list in descending-rank order based on exam scores and seniority also resulted in a statistically significant percentage of African-American and Hispanic candidates on the list not being certified for promotion.

On November 22, 2011, the parties agreed to a consent decree that enjoined the New Jersey Civil Service Commission from using the challenged promotion practices as well as any practices that violate Title VII, established settlement funds for awarding back pay, policies for enacting priority promotions, and dates and processes to notify individuals who may be eligible for relief. On June 12, 2012, the District Court (Judge Katharine S. Hayden) issued an opinion approving the consent decree for final entry. 2012 WL 3265905.

After notifying individuals eligible for relief under the consent decree, proceedings taking objections to the consent decree, and fairness hearings determining individual relief, the parties submitted a relief awards list and all objections to the list.

On May 10, 2013, various parties who objected to the approval of the final relief awards list appealed the decision of the District Court to the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit (Judges Sloviter, Fuentes, and Rother), which upheld the decision of the District Court on June 13, 2013. 522 Fed.Appx. 167. The same parties petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review, but cert was denied. Hamdeh v. United States, 134 S.Ct. 529 (2013). On April 10, 2014, the court (Judge Katharine S. Hayden) issued an opinion approving the final relief award list. 2014 WL 1404642.

Subsequently, the DOJ moved to modify paragraph 67 of the consent decree arguing that
in certain jurisdictions, alternating on a one-to-one basis between the two lists might afford some priority promotion candidates greater than make-whole relief because they would receive a promotion before individuals on an SRL who have earlier actual appointment dates. However, on September 30, 2015, the court (Judge Hayden) denied the motion.

Claire Lally - 10/09/2014
Jessica Kincaid - 04/01/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Promotion
Retroactive Senority
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Promotion
Seniority
Testing
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Pattern or Practice
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) State of New Jersey Civil Service Commission
Plaintiff Description Federal government
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted Moot
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - n/a
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
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)
2:10-cv-00091-KSH-CLW (D.N.J.) 09/30/2015
EE-NJ-0119-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/07/2010
EE-NJ-0119-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion for Provisional Entry of Consent Decree and Scheduling of Initial Fairness Hearing (and brief in support, and proposed consent decree) 08/01/2011
EE-NJ-0119-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Consent Decree 11/22/2011
EE-NJ-0119-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion Regarding Second Amended Consent Decree 06/12/2012 (2012 WL 3265905) (D.N.J.)
EE-NJ-0119-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion of the Court 06/13/2013 (522 Fed.Appx. 167)
EE-NJ-0119-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion Approving Final Relief Award List 04/10/2014 (2014 WL 1404642) (D.N.J.)
EE-NJ-0119-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 09/30/2015 (2015 WL 5770137) (D.N.J.)
EE-NJ-0119-0007.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Bloomberg Law
Judges Fuentes, Julio M. (Third Circuit)
EE-NJ-0119-0005
Hayden, Katharine Sweeney (D.N.J.)
EE-NJ-0119-0002 | EE-NJ-0119-0003 | EE-NJ-0119-0004 | EE-NJ-0119-0007 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Roth, Jane Richards (D. Del., Third Circuit)
EE-NJ-0119-0005
Sloviter, Dolores Korman (Third Circuit)
EE-NJ-0119-0005
Waldor, Cathy L (D.N.J.) [Magistrate]
EE-NJ-0119-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Banaszak, Elizabeth Belle (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Burrell, Meredith (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-9000
Funk, Hilary (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0001
Holder, Eric H. Jr. (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0001
Hussain, Varda (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
King, Loretta (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0006
Lander, Esther G. (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0001 | EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Perez, Thomas E. (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0001 | EE-NJ-0119-0006
St. George Blake, Trevor (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Thawley, Barbara E (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0001 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Valerie, Meyer Leigh (District of Columbia)
EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Jespersen, Kevin R. (New Jersey)
EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Ruch, Lisa Dorio (New Jersey)
EE-NJ-0119-0006 | EE-NJ-0119-9000
Other Lawyers Murphy, Joseph S (New Jersey)
EE-NJ-0119-9000

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