University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Duling v. Gristede's Operating Corp. EE-NY-0253
Docket / Court 1:06-cv-10197 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
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 ... read more >
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


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
None on record
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Retail grocery store chain of over 50 stores in New York
Plaintiff Description Two of Defendant's former cashiers on behalf of a class of all current and former female employees of Defendant who worked for it at any time between November 2, 2004 and the date of final judgment in this matter
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
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)
1:06-cv-10197-LTS-HBP (S.D.N.Y.) 03/08/2010
EE-NY-0253-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 10/23/2006
EE-NY-0253-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order (Certifying Classes) 03/08/2010 (267 F.R.D. 86) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0253-0004 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Press Release 03/09/2010
EE-NY-0253-0001 PDF | Detail
Judges Pitman, Henry B. (S.D.N.Y.) [Magistrate]
EE-NY-0253-9000
Swain, Laura Taylor (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0253-0001 | EE-NY-0253-0004 | EE-NY-0253-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bien, Rachel Megan (New York)
EE-NY-0253-0001 | EE-NY-0253-9000
Greene, Cara Elizabeth (New York)
EE-NY-0253-0001 | EE-NY-0253-0002 | EE-NY-0253-9000
Hoffman, Piper (New York)
EE-NY-0253-0002 | EE-NY-0253-9000
Klein, Adam T. (New York)
EE-NY-0253-0001 | EE-NY-0253-0002 | EE-NY-0253-9000
Steel, Lewis M (New York)
EE-NY-0253-0001 | EE-NY-0253-9000
Swartz, Justin (New York)
EE-NY-0253-0001 | EE-NY-0253-0002 | EE-NY-0253-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Donovan, Joseph Ted (New York)
EE-NY-0253-9000
Nash, Kevin J (New York)
EE-NY-0253-9000
Pankow, Emily Rose (New York)
EE-NY-0253-9000
Puma, Michael J. (New York)
EE-NY-0253-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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