Several Black and Hispanic employees filed this class action in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California against their employer, Chevron U.S.A., Inc. They brought this action on behalf of Black and Hispanic workers at the oil and gas production facilities in California's San Joaquin Valley. The complaint alleged that Chevron discriminated against the plaintiff class based on race and national origin with respect to compensation, training, job assignments, and promotion, in violation of Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., the Civil Rights Act of 1866, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"), California Gov't Code § 12940 et seq.
On September 9, 1987, the District Court (Judge Thelton E. Henderson) certified the class. Barefield v. Chevron U.S.A. Inc., C 86-2427 TEH, 1987 WL 65054 (N.D. Cal. Sept. 9, 1987). The Court also discussed the type of relief available to the class. Barefield v. Chevron, U.S.A., Inc., 12 Fed. R. Serv. 3d 1232 (N.D. Cal. 1988). The parties eventually reached a settlement agreement, and the Court approved a consent decree on June 24, 1991. The agreement, in which Chevron did not admit any liability, required the defendant to set promotion goals in good faith for various job categories to address work force imbalances.
In order to compensate the plaintiff class members, the consent decree asked Chevron to establish a fund in order to settle emotional distress claims for alleged loss of promotion opportunities or alleged hostile work environment harassment based on race or national origin. A Master would take those claims and hold hearings to determine each claimant's share of the fund. Additionally, the decree provided an opt-out option for individual class members to pursue individual claims against Chevron for incidents that occurred after May 21, 1983.
Three named plaintiffs subsequently opted-out as individual plaintiffs and filed their claims against Chevron. The case went to trial on August 8 - August 17, 1995, and April 23 - May 7, 1996. The parties filed their post-trial briefs on July 12, 1996. Judge Henderson filed a court opinion on January 2, 1997, and subsequently made the judgment with regard to those individual claims. The Court ruled in favor of two of the named plaintiffs on their claims and awarded them $192,000 and $176,000 respectively. Barefield v. Chevron U.S., Inc., C86-2427 TEH, 1997 WL 9888 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 2, 1997). The Court ruled in favor of the defendant Chevron on the other plaintiff's claim. That plaintiff appealed this ruling to the 9th Circuit Court, and the Circuit Court affirmed the lower court's ruling on August 12, 1998. Barefield v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc., 156 F.3d 1235 (9th Cir. 1998). This ended the case.Emma Bao - 07/19/2013