University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Barefield v. Chevron U.S.A., Inc. EE-CA-0341
Docket / Court 3:86-cv-02427-TEH ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
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 ... read more >
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

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
National Origin/Ethnicity
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
State law
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Chevron U.S.A. Inc.
Plaintiff Description Black and Hispanic workers employed at Chevron U.S.A., Inc. oil production facilities in California's San Joaquin Valley alleging national origin and race discrimination of their employer.
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 Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Litigation
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1991 - n/a
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 ]

3:86−cv−02427 (N.D. Cal.) 02/19/1999
EE-CA-0341-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion 09/09/1987 (1987 WL 65054) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0341-0001 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Order & Opinion 12/06/1988 (1988 WL 188433) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0341-0003 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 01/02/1997 (1997 WL 9888) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0341-0004 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Opinion 08/12/1998 (156 F.3d 1235)
EE-CA-0341-0002 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
Judges Choy, Herbert Young Cho (Ninth Circuit)
Hamilton, Phyllis Jean (N.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
Henderson, Thelton Eugene (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0341-0001 | EE-CA-0341-0003 | EE-CA-0341-0004 | EE-CA-0341-9000
Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (Ninth Circuit)
Thompson, David R. (Ninth Circuit)
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Alcala, Carlos M. (California)
Nelson, Warren H. Jr. (California)
Defendant's Lawyers Alberti, William G (California)
Other Lawyers None on record

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