On October 23, 2006, a class action lawsuit was brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"); the New York State Human Rights Law, New York Executive Law § 296 ...
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On October 23, 2006, a class action lawsuit was brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"); the New York State Human Rights Law, New York Executive Law § 296 et seq. ("NYSHRL"); and the New York City Human Rights Law, New York City Administrative Code §§ 8-101 et seq. ("NYCHRL") against Defendant Gristede's Operating Corp., a retail chain of grocery stores. Named plaintiffs, former female cashiers of Defendant, represented a class of similarly situated former and current employees of Defendant; they were represented by private counsel. They claimed that Defendant engaged in discriminatory company-wide practices and policies with regard to placing, promoting, and compensating women with the effect of denying them equal opportunities. Plaintiffs sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief.
Specifically, Plaintiffs alleged that Defendant channeled women into lower-paying, part-time positions such as cashier or bookkeeper; this was done without regard to their qualifications or capabilities. Further, Plaintiffs claimed that store managers and upper management, the overwhelming majority of whom were male, almost uniformly offered promotions to males.
The complaint was amended on June 21, 2007 and again on January 1st, 2010. The major allegations remained unchanged, though some of the specific named Plaintiffs were added or removed from the case. Throughout this time period, there had also been a lengthy and contentious discovery battle between the parties.
On March 8, 2010, the District Court (Judge Laura Taylor Swain) issued an order that (1) denied Defendant's motion to strike expert reports and (2) certified the Plaintiff class. First, the court summarized the findings of fact up to this point in discovery. The court determined that Defendant's hiring and promotional decisions were primarily made by males and were highly discretionary, with no objective criteria to follow. Further, there was evidence that most female prospective employees were told cashier positions were the only ones available, and that they were never informed of promotional opportunities. The court in this order allowed expert testimony based on statistical information that may show that gender disparities exist in Defendant's hiring and promoting practices. Also, the court certified a class of "all current and former female Gristede's employees who worked for Gristede's at any time between November 2, 2004 and the date of final judgment in this matter." This class was certified, however only for the purposes of injunctive and declaratory relief. This order was the last activity in the PACER docket as of March 30, 2010, and the case is still ongoing.Adam Teitelbaum - 03/30/2010