University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Foster v. City of Pittsburgh EE-PA-0246
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-01207 ( W.D. Pa. )
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization ACLU Chapters (any)
Case Summary
On August 3, 2012, two African-American men filed this class action lawsuit, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs sued the City of Pittsburgh, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 42 U.S.C. ... read more >
On August 3, 2012, two African-American men filed this class action lawsuit, on behalf of themselves and others similarly situated, in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania. The plaintiffs sued the City of Pittsburgh, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act 1964 42 U.S.C. § 2000, 42 U.S.C. § 1981, as applied by 42 U.S.C. § 1983, and the Pennsylvania Human Relations Act, 43 Pa. Cons. Stat. § 951. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and the ACLU of Pennsylvania, asked the court for injunctive relief, alleging that the city's hiring process for police officers led to a low number of African-American hires because of discriminatory treatment with respect to African-American applicant, including a screening process that harmed qualified African-American applicants by giving preferential treatment to those with family and friends already on the police force and using other subjective criteria.

The plaintiffs were all African-Americans who applied for positions as entry-level police officers but did not receive such positions during the application process. The plaintiffs claimed that the hiring practices by the city had lead to a statistically significant lack of African-American police officers.

In August 2013, the parties executed a Stay of Litigation Agreement that included the parties bringing in Dr. Leaetta Hough as an expert to review the hiring practices by the police force. The parties met with Dr. Hough, on March 31, 2014, to discuss her recommendations to revise and improve the hiring system that was having an adverse impact on African-American applicants.

On June 29, 2015, the plaintiffs filed a joint motion for settlement that included some of the suggestions from Dr. Hough's report to diversify the police department and make payments to those who have been harmed by the application process from 2008 to 2014. The city agreed to pay $985,000 in damages and up to $600,000 in attorneys' fees. In addition, the settlement also sets up a structure to review and improve the city's selection process to increase the participation of qualified African-Americans.

Daniel Fryer - 10/03/2015


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1983
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) The City of Pittsburgh
The City of Pittsburgh
Plaintiff Description Two African American males who were denied entry-level police officer positions
Indexed Lawyer Organizations ACLU Chapters (any)
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
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 not on record
Case Closing Year 2015
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)
2:12-cv1207 (W.D. Pa.) 07/14/2015
EE-PA-0246-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/23/2012
EE-PA-0246-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 04/15/2013
EE-PA-0246-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Brief and Hough Reports 06/19/2015
EE-PA-0246-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Preliminary Approval Orders 07/13/2015 (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0246-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cercone, David S. (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0246-0004
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Doyle, Ellen M. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-0002 | EE-PA-0246-0003 | EE-PA-0246-9000
Ewing, Pamina (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-0002 | EE-PA-0246-0003 | EE-PA-0246-9000
Feinstein, Edward J. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-0002 | EE-PA-0246-0003 | EE-PA-0246-9000
Rose, Sara (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-0001 | EE-PA-0246-0002 | EE-PA-0246-0003 | EE-PA-0246-9000
Walczak, Witold J. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-0001 | EE-PA-0246-0002 | EE-PA-0246-0003 | EE-PA-0246-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Giorgi, Luca M. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-9000
Kennedy, Michael E. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-9000
Kobee, Wendy (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-0003 | EE-PA-0246-9000
Mackler, Lorraine N. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-9000
McHale, Matthew S. (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-9000
Sanchez Ridge, Lourdes (Pennsylvania)
EE-PA-0246-0003 | EE-PA-0246-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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