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Case Name EEOC v. BELL ATLANTIC CORPORATION EE-NY-0015
Docket / Court 1:99-cv-05197-DC-THK ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
This case involves three related cases: 1:99-cv-05197; 1:98-cv-03427; and 1:97-cv-06723.

On September 7, 1997, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of female employees, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of New York, under Title VII of the Civil ... read more >
This case involves three related cases: 1:99-cv-05197; 1:98-cv-03427; and 1:97-cv-06723.

On September 7, 1997, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of female employees, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of New York, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, against predecessor companies of Verizon. The EEOC sought injunctive relief and monetary damages, alleging that the defendants failed to provide Service Credits for periods of pregnancy-related or maternity-related leaves taken prior to April 29, 1979, which resulted in denied pension benefits to non-management female employees under an early retirement incentive program, which became effective on April 3, 1994. On January 28, 1998, the District Court (Judge Denny Chin), granted the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers ("IBEW") and Communications Workers of America ("CWA")'s motions to intervene.

On May 14, 1998, the IBEW, on behalf of female employees, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of New York, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the same defendants as above. IBEW sought injunctive relief and monetary damages, alleging that the defendants failed to provide female employees Service Credits for periods of approved leaves of absence for Care of Newborn Children taken prior to January 1, 1984, while granting Service Credit to male employees who took similar kinds of leave, resulting in the eventual denial of the same pension benefits listed above to non-management female employees.

The present case started on July 16, 1999, when the EEOC, on behalf of female employees, filed a lawsuit in the Southern District Court of New York, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Equal Pay Act, against the same defendants as above. The EEOC sought injunctive relief and monetary damages, claiming that the defendants' method for calculating eligibility for and benefits of a Cash Balance Plan did not include the full Service Credit for female management employees who took Pregnancy-related or Maternity-Related leaves, and yet did include the full Service Credit to other employees who took similar kinds of leave.

On May 20, 1998, case 1:98-cv-03427 was related to case 1:97-cv-06723. Then, on October 22, 1999, case 1:99-cv-05197 (this case) was related to 1:97-cv-06723.

After going through the discovery process and several settlement conferences, the parties reached a settlement on February 28, 2002. After a fairness hearing was held, the District Court (Judge Denny Chin) approved the consent decree on October 9, 2002. Among other things, the defendants agreed to give the members of the class additional service credit which would, in turn, give them increased monthly pension payments and also make them eligible for the early retirement program. Those who have already retired and have been receiving pension payments will receive the difference between the current amount and the amount they should've been paid. The total cost to the defendants was estimated to be in the millions. The defendants also agreed to pay the plaintiff-intervenors' reasonable attorneys' fees and costs.

Perry Miska - 04/13/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Pregnancy discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
Private Suit Related / Consolidated with EEOC Suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)
Defendant(s) Verizon Communications, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of female employees who alleged sex discrimination because, unlike males who took similar types of leave, the female employees did not receive a Service Credit when they took maternity-related or pregnancy-related leaves.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2002 - 2004
Case Closing Year 2002
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)
1:99-cv-05197-DC-THK (S.D.N.Y.) 01/13/2003
EE-NY-0015-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Consent Decree 02/25/2002
EE-NY-0015-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: EEOC Regional Office
EEOC and Verizon Settle Pregnancy Bias Suit; Thousands of Women to Receive Benefits 02/26/2002
EE-NY-0015-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: EEOC.gov
Memorandum Decision 10/09/2002 (2002 WL 31260290 / 2002 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 19156) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0015-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Westlaw
FY 2002 Office of General Counsel Annual Report 12/31/2003
EE-NY-0015-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: EEOC.gov
Judges Chin, Denny (Second Circuit, S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0015-0004 | EE-NY-0015-0005 | EE-NY-0015-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Bissell, Katherine (New York)
EE-NY-0015-0004
Grossman, Elizabeth (New York)
EE-NY-0015-9000
Lee, James L. (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0015-9000
Mintz, David A. (New York)
EE-NY-0015-0004
O'melveny, Mary K. (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0015-0004
Quinto, Luis (New York)
EE-NY-0015-9000
Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0015-9000
Semel, Gabrielle (New York)
EE-NY-0015-0004
Stewart, C. Gregory (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0015-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Dichter, Mark S. (Pennsylvania)
EE-NY-0015-0004
Other Lawyers None on record

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