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Case Name JOHNSON v. STEELCASE, INC. EE-AL-0120
Docket / Court 5:07-cv-00064 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On January 9, 2007, a female African-American employee of defendant filed a suit on her own behalf against defendant Steelcase, Inc. under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII") and 42 U.S.C. § 1981in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Northeastern ... read more >
On January 9, 2007, a female African-American employee of defendant filed a suit on her own behalf against defendant Steelcase, Inc. under the provisions of 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII") and 42 U.S.C. § 1981in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama, Northeastern Division. Thereafter, plaintiff filed a Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Complaint on January 24, 2008, adding class allegations. Plaintiff, represented by private counsel, asked the court for declaratory and injunctive relief, and compensatory and punitive damages, claiming that defendant demoted her because of her race or her sex, and defendant has engaged in a pattern and practice of discriminating against African-Americans on the basis of their race with respect to promotions.

On October 6, 2008, the Court certified a class consisting of black Americans employed by defendant who, between January 5, 2005, to the present

were/are employed by Steelcase, Incorporated in Production Technician positions and who were qualified but not selected for vacancies in permanent positions of Quality Specialists and Quality Control Technicians, Zone Leaders and Temporary Supervisors, and Production Specialists.

On November 26, 2008, the parties filed a Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of a Class Action Settlement. On December 10, 2008, the Court (Judge U.W. Clemon) issued an Order approving the proposed settlement.

The Class Settlement Agreement provided declaratory and injunctive relief, implementation of a new selection process for higher level employees, monitoring, reporting. and training requirements, monetary relief for the named plaintiff and class members, a promotion for the named plaintiff, and attorney's fees and costs.

On January 28, 2009, the court dismissed the case.

Kunyi Zhang - 06/06/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Monitoring
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Promotion
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Retaliation Prohibition
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Discrimination-area
Demotion
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Steelcase, Inc.
Plaintiff Description All black Americans who, between January 5, 2005, to the present were/are employed by Steelcase, Inc. who were qualified but not selected for vacancies in permanent positions.
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 Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - 2009
Case Closing Year 2009
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)
5:07-cv-64 (N.D. Ala.) 10/05/2009
EE-AL-0120-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 01/08/2007
EE-AL-0120-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
First Amended Complaint 02/19/2008
EE-AL-0120-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant Steelcase Inc.'s Motion to Dismiss and in Opposition to Class Certification 09/09/2008
EE-AL-0120-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Pretrial Order 09/09/2008 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0120-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Findings of Fact and Conclusion of Law on Plaintiff's Motion for Class Certification 10/06/2008 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0120-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Class Certification Order 10/06/2008 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0120-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Motion for Preliminary Approval of a Class Action Settlement 11/26/2008
EE-AL-0120-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Preliminarily Approving Proposed Settlement 12/10/2008
EE-AL-0120-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Dismissal Order 01/28/2009 (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0120-0009 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Clemon, U. W. (N.D. Ala.)
EE-AL-0120-0004 | EE-AL-0120-0005 | EE-AL-0120-0006 | EE-AL-0120-0008 | EE-AL-0120-0009 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Childs, Robert F. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0120-0007 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Johnson, Herman N. Jr. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0120-0007 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Sherrod, Henry F. III (Alabama)
EE-AL-0120-0001 | EE-AL-0120-0002 | EE-AL-0120-0007 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bolling, Frederic A (Alabama)
EE-AL-0120-0003 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Crews, Roslyn (Alabama)
EE-AL-0120-0003 | EE-AL-0120-0007 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Parchman, Afrika (Alabama)
EE-AL-0120-0003 | EE-AL-0120-0007 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Thomas, Kenneth L. (Alabama)
EE-AL-0120-0003 | EE-AL-0120-0007 | EE-AL-0120-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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