University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name District Council 37 v. New York City Department of Parks and Recreation EE-NY-0257
Docket / Court 1:93-cv-2580 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On April 20, 1993, plaintiffs, a class of 145 manual laborers formerly employed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (the "Parks Department"), and the labor union representing such employees, brought this action against the Parks Department, the City of New York and the New York ... read more >
On April 20, 1993, plaintiffs, a class of 145 manual laborers formerly employed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation (the "Parks Department"), and the labor union representing such employees, brought this action against the Parks Department, the City of New York and the New York City Department of Personnel (collectively "defendants") under the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, as amended, 29 U.S.C. §626 et seq. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Plaintiffs alleged that as part of a reduction in force in June 1991, defendants discriminatorily eliminated the job title of Laborer to which the 145 individuals belonged. This job title consisted of 187 employees aged 40 and older. Specifically, plaintiffs claimed that the layoffs, forced retirements and demotions of the Laborers were unlawful under two doctrines of age discrimination law: disparate impact and disparate treatment.

Following a trial by jury, which began on September 13, 1995, the jury found for defendants as to all claims. Specifically, the jury found that plaintiffs had failed to prove by a preponderance of the evidence (1) the disparate treatment discrimination claim in that plaintiffs had failed to prove that age was a motivating factor in defendants' decision to lay off all or substantially all individuals in the title of Laborer in the Parks Department, and (2) the disparate impact claim in that plaintiffs had failed to prove that an identified employment practice had a disparate impact on the 145 Laborers and that an identified employment practice caused the statistical disparity of which plaintiffs complained.

On December 14, 1995, the district court (Judge Allen G. Schwartz) denied the plaintiffs' motion for a new trial.

Subsequently, the plaintiffs appealed only their disparate impact claim, arguing that the district court erred when it refused to instruct the jury that a nondiscriminatory "bottom line" was no defense to a disparate impact claim. However, on May 14, 1997, the Second Circuit (Judge Thomas Meskill) confirmed the jury instructions given by the district court.

Kunyi Zhang - 06/24/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Parks
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.
Defendant(s) New York City Department of Personnel
The New York City Department of Parks and Recreation
Plaintiff Description A class of 145 manual laborers formerly em-ployed by the New York City Department of Parks and Recreation, and the labor union representing such employees.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Conditional Dismissal
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 1997
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)
1:93-cv-2580 (S.D.N.Y.) 11/21/1997
EE-NY-0257-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Order 12/14/1995 (1995 WL 739512 / 1995 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 18491) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0257-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Untitled 05/14/1997 (113 F.3d 347)
EE-NY-0257-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Schwartz, Allen G. (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0257-0002 | EE-NY-0257-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Vladeck, Judith P (New York)
EE-NY-0257-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Sheiner, Naomi (New York)
EE-NY-0257-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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