University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Lang v. Kohl's Food Stores, Inc. EE-WI-0060
Docket / Court 3:98-cv-00351 ( W.D. Wis. )
State/Territory Wisconsin
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On May 14, 1998, female grocery store employees brought class action against defendants under Title VII and Equal Pay Act in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, alleged that produce workers, who were mostly men, received ... read more >
On May 14, 1998, female grocery store employees brought class action against defendants under Title VII and Equal Pay Act in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, alleged that produce workers, who were mostly men, received higher pay than bakery and deli workers, who were mostly women.

In response to Plaintiffs' complaint, Defendant contended that employees in the produce department were included within a pay category called "regular clerks,'' most of whom were female. Also, women who wanted to be regular clerks in or out of the produce department did not face any discrimination in hiring or transfer.

After allowing the parties to conduct extensive discovery, the district court (Judge Barbara Crabb) granted summary judgment for Kohl's on the Title VII claim, based on the ground that plaintiffs could not demonstrate that Kohl's explanation for placing produce positions in the "regular clerk'' classification was a pretext for sex discrimination.

Following jury trial, the district court entered judgment in favor of the employer on the Equal Pay Act claim, because the jury decided that the bakery, deli, and produce jobs were not substantially equal.

After the trial, the plaintiffs appealed to the 7th Circuit. However, on June 22, 2000, the 7th Circuit affirmed the district court's decision.

Kunyi Zhang - 06/22/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)
Defendant(s) Great Atlantic &Pacific Tea Company, Inc.
Kohl's Food Stores, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Plaintiffs were female workers in the bakery and deli departments of Defendant Kohl's Food Stores.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Unknown
Prevailing Party Defendant
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 1999
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)
3:98−cv−00351 (W.D. Wis.) 02/12/2004
EE-WI-0060-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order (Granting EEOC Motions to quash subpoenas) 11/23/1998 (185 F.R.D. 542) (W.D. Wis.)
EE-WI-0060-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order (Denying Motion to Set Aside Magistrate's Granting of EEOC Motion to Quash Subpoena) 12/15/1998 (186 F.R.D. 535) (W.D. Wis.)
EE-WI-0060-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Opinion (Affirming District Court) 06/22/2000 (217 F.3d 919)
EE-WI-0060-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Crabb, Barbara Brandriff (W.D. Wis.) [Magistrate]
EE-WI-0060-0003 | EE-WI-0060-9000
Crocker, Stephen L. (W.D. Wis.) [Magistrate]
EE-WI-0060-0002 | EE-WI-0060-0002 | EE-WI-0060-0002 | EE-WI-0060-9000
Easterbrook, Frank Hoover (Seventh Circuit)
EE-WI-0060-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Barnhill, Charles J. Jr. (Wisconsin)
EE-WI-0060-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Walker, Jack (Wisconsin)
EE-WI-0060-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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