University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Bonnette v. Rochester Gas & Electric Co. EE-NY-0258
Docket / Court 6:07CV06635 ( W.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Case Summary
On December 21, 2007, 32 individual African American plaintiffs filed a complaint in United States District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated against defendant Rochester Gas & Electric Company alleging a pattern and practice of ... read more >
On December 21, 2007, 32 individual African American plaintiffs filed a complaint in United States District Court for the Western District of New York on behalf of themselves and all others similarly situated against defendant Rochester Gas & Electric Company alleging a pattern and practice of discrimination based on race. The complaint stated violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, and The New York Human Rights Law (15 N.Y. Exec. Law § 291).

On January 24, 2008 the parties reached a settlement agreement which created a $2 million settlement fund for the settlement class of all African American employees at Rochester Gas & Electric Company from May 24, 2002 through October 1, 2006 (150 total members). The class representatives were awarded $15,000 each plus their individual shares for their service to the class. One third of the settlement fund ($660,000) was designated for attorney fees.

The settlement also provdide for injunctive relief including a non-retaliation clause, prohibition against discrimination, and EEO notice and training.



On February 11, 2008 the court (Judge Michael A. Telesca) granted preliminary approval of the settlement and certified the settlement class.

On May 8, 2008 the court (Judge Michael A. Telesca) signed a final order approving the class settlement.

David Miller - 07/02/2010


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Retaliation Prohibition
Defendant-type
Sanitation/Public Works
Discrimination-area
Demotion
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
State law
State Anti-Discrimination Law
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Rochester Gas & Electric Co.
Plaintiff Description 32 named plaintiffs representing a class of African American employees employed from May 5, 2002 to October 1, 2006 who were subjected to unlawful discrimination based on their race
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 2007 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2008
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)
6:07CV06635 (W.D.N.Y.) 10/28/2008
EE-NY-0258-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/21/2007
EE-NY-0258-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Preliminary Approval of Settlement Agreement 02/11/2008 (W.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0258-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal 05/08/2008 (W.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0258-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 01/24/2010
EE-NY-0258-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Telesca, Michael Anthony (W.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0258-0003 | EE-NY-0258-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bartelli, Jan (New York)
EE-NY-0258-0001 | EE-NY-0258-0002 | EE-NY-0258-9000
Carson, Shanon J. (Pennsylvania)
EE-NY-0258-0001 | EE-NY-0258-0002 | EE-NY-0258-9000
Chavers, Clayborne E. (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0258-0001 | EE-NY-0258-0002 | EE-NY-0258-9000
Gerstein, Bruce E. (New York)
EE-NY-0258-0001 | EE-NY-0258-0002 | EE-NY-0258-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Burkhardt, Michael S. (Pennsylvania)
EE-NY-0258-0002 | EE-NY-0258-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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