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Case Name Vasich v. City of Chicago EE-IL-0332
Docket / Court 1:11-cv-04843 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On July 19, 2011, a female firefighter applicant of the Chicago Fire Department filed a class action lawsuit against Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff was later joined by eight other female firefighter applicants. ... read more >
On July 19, 2011, a female firefighter applicant of the Chicago Fire Department filed a class action lawsuit against Chicago in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. Represented by private counsel, the plaintiff was later joined by eight other female firefighter applicants. Together, they sued Chicago on behalf of themselves and a class of women who were denied employment with the city's Fire Department based on their failure to pass the required physical ability test.

Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that the test was neither job related nor consistent with business necessity and that the city administered the test notwithstanding its disparate impact on women and the availability of less discriminatory alternatives. As a result, the plaintiffs claimed that the city's administration of the physical ability test constituted unlawful sex discrimination (in the form of both disparate impact and disparate treatment) under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq. The plaintiffs sought declaratory and injunctive relief and back pay.

On September 5, 2013, the parties filed a proposed settlement agreement, and on December 20, 2013, the Court (Magistrate Judge Maria Valdez) issued a Final Judgment and Order approving it. Per the parties' agreement, the Court granted certification of a class that consisted of female applicants to the Chicago Fire Department who had passed the written qualifying exam but who had failed the physical ability test between December 2007 and April 10, 2010 and were therefore denied employment. As part of the settlement, Chicago agreed to discontinue use of the physical ability test and administer instead an interim test. Additionally, the city agreed to pay $1,590,023, which was divided among the class of non-hired settlement class members. The city also agreed to provide each named plaintiff with a back pay award ranging from $10,000 to $73,000. The case is now closed.

Jordan Rossen - 01/16/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Fire
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Chicago
Plaintiff Description A class of female firefighter applicants who were denied employment after passing a written qualifying exam but failing the required physical ability test
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
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2013 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2014
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)
1:11-cv-04843 (N.D. Ill.) 01/10/2014
EE-IL-0332-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 07/19/2011
EE-IL-0332-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Third Amended Complaint 10/16/2012
EE-IL-0332-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 01/07/2013 (2013 WL 80372) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0332-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation and Class Action Settlement Agreement 09/05/2013 (2013 WL 6730106) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0332-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Joint Stipulation and Class Action Settlement Agreement 09/05/2013
EE-IL-0332-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment and Order [Approving Parties' Settlement] 12/20/2013 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0332-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Tharp, John Joseph Jr. (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0332-0003
Valdez, Maria G. (N.D. Ill.) [Magistrate]
EE-IL-0332-0004 | EE-IL-0332-0005 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Borgen, David (California)
EE-IL-0332-0001 | EE-IL-0332-0002 | EE-IL-0332-0005 | EE-IL-0332-0006 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Chan, Lin Yee (California)
EE-IL-0332-0001 | EE-IL-0332-0002 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Demchak, Teresa (California)
EE-IL-0332-0001 | EE-IL-0332-0002 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Malone, Susan Patricia (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-0001 | EE-IL-0332-0002 | EE-IL-0332-0005 | EE-IL-0332-0006 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Ward, Torrick (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-0006 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Willenson, Marni (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-0001 | EE-IL-0332-0002 | EE-IL-0332-0005 | EE-IL-0332-0006 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Donham, Cary E. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-9000
Jackson, Heather Ann (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-9000
Lynch, Erin K. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-9000
Schaller, Rachel L. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-9000
Seery, David (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-9000
Slagel, Allan T. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-0005 | EE-IL-0332-0006 | EE-IL-0332-9000
Swabb, Timothy L. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0332-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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