University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Barnes v. Canadian Nat'l IL Central EE-IL-0310
Docket / Court 1:04CV01249 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On February 18, 2004, three former employees brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the Declaratory Judgment Act, against the Canadian National Railroad ... read more >
On February 18, 2004, three former employees brought a class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the Declaratory Judgment Act, against the Canadian National Railroad Company and its subsidiaries. The plaintiffs, represented by several private attorneys, sought a declaration that defendants engaged in company-wide systemic racial discrimination when they continually failed to notify African-American employees of job announcements, and continually failed to post or make announcements readily accessible to African-American employees, for all positions that might lead to promotions and/or advancement to higher and better paying positions. Plaintiffs also sought a permanent injunction and other equitable relief necessary to eliminate the effects of the defendants' past and present racial discrimination and to prevent such discrimination from continuing to adversely affect their lives and careers in the future. Finally, plaintiffs sought back-pay, other equitable remedies, and damages necessary to make them and the members of the class whole.

On January 7, 2010, the District Court (Judge James B. Zagel) conditionally certified a class of "all African-American employees of the Railroad from February 18, 2000 to October 21, 2009" and approved a consent decree. Under the specific injunctive provisions of the consent decree, which remained in effect for three years, the defendants were required to implement policies, practices, and procedures to prevent discrimination in training and advancement. Such policies and practices included: a Training Catalog and electronically-available instructions on how employees may obtain the training needed to enhance their abilities and qualifications; on-line courses in the subjects of basic computer software skills, supervisory skills, and railroad-related topics; educational financial assistance, including, but not necessarily limited to, reimbursement for education relating to craft, technical, and vocational skills reasonably related to the railroad environment; EEO training for HR personnel, supervisors and managers, and employees; enhanced posting of available positions; nondiscriminatory selection procedures for available positions; a diversity counsel; semi-annual adverse impact analyses; and internal monitoring and compliance procedures. Additionally, the consent decree required the defendants to establish a settlement fund in the gross amount of $3,000,000 for the purpose of providing individual awards to the named plaintiffs, monetary awards to the eligible members of the settlement class, and the payment of attorneys' fees and costs to class counsel.

Rebecca Eisenbrey - 03/29/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Promotion
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Defendant-type
Transportation
Discrimination-area
Promotion
Training
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Declaratory Judgment Act, 28 U.S.C. § 2201
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Canadian National/Illinois Central Railroad
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs are three African-Americans who were employees of the Illinois Central Railroad Company, one of the subsidiaries of the Canadian National Railroad Company ("CN"), and who allege company-wide systemic racial discrimination throughout “CN” and its subsidiaries. Plaintiffs brought this action on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated.
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 Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2010 - 2013
Case Closing Year 2010
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)
1:04CV01249 (N.D. Ill.) 08/17/2010
EE-IL-0310-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 02/18/2004
EE-IL-0310-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint 06/08/2007
EE-IL-0310-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 01/07/2010 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0310-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Barnes v. Canadian Nat'l IL Central 01/07/2010 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0310-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Mason, Michael T. (N.D. Ill.) [Magistrate]
EE-IL-0310-0003
Zagel, James Block (FISC, N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-0004 | EE-IL-0310-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chavez, Kathleen Currie (Illinois)
EE-IL-0310-0001 | EE-IL-0310-0002 | EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-9000
Childs, Robert F. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-IL-0310-0001 | EE-IL-0310-0002 | EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-9000
Cooks, Roderick Twain (Alabama)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Currie, Peter Lawrence (Illinois)
EE-IL-0310-0002 | EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-9000
DeGweek, Benjamin J (Alabama)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Foote, Robert M. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0310-0001 | EE-IL-0310-0002 | EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-9000
Fung, Stephen William (Illinois)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Herman, Matthew J. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Johnson, Herman N. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Mattison, Deborah A. (Alabama)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Ready, William E. (Mississippi)
EE-IL-0310-0001 | EE-IL-0310-0002 | EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Gaur, Shanthi V. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-9000
Hult, Keith C. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0310-0003 | EE-IL-0310-9000
King, Allan G. (Texas)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Mrkonich-Wilson, Kathryn (Minnesota)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Sarantopoulos, Stephanie D. (Minnesota)
EE-IL-0310-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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