University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name De Figueiredo v. Trans World Airlines, Inc. IM-NY-0012
Docket / Court No. 70 Civ. 4421 ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Immigration
Case Summary
On December 29, 1971, plaintiff brought claim against Trans World Airlines (TWA), seeking declaratory injunctive relief, stating that airline was giving preferential treatment to its hostesses in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Equal Pay Act of 1963. A separate female ... read more >
On December 29, 1971, plaintiff brought claim against Trans World Airlines (TWA), seeking declaratory injunctive relief, stating that airline was giving preferential treatment to its hostesses in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Equal Pay Act of 1963. A separate female plaintiff, Margaret M. Maguire, also brought claim seeking declaratory injunctive relief on claim that airline was discriminating against female employees in favor of men, in violation of same statutes. Male plaintiff, De Figueiredo, moved to consolidate cases and to join his case with Local 550, airline employees union. The claim was brought in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York, where it was assigned to Honorable Judge Morris E. Lasker.

In support of consolidation, the Court maintained that the move would allow greater expediency between the parties, especially since both male and female plaintiffs alleged similar facts surrounding Civil Rights Act and Equal Pay Act. Male plaintiffs contended that female hostesses were receiving higher positions of service, despite the seniority of male employees. It is also stated that seniority lists were merged among male and females, resulting in unequal firing of male pursers. Pursers sought elimination of distinctions among employees, and hostesses' claims to maintain such distinctions. Conversely, female plaintiffs cited wage discrimination, and various other practices in which hostesses suffered discriminated.

In contrast, defendants argued that such claims were contradictory, and that Local 550, which had expressed interest in party resolution, should have been listed as defendant, so as to represent all parties before the Court. TWA also argued that it would be prejudiced in having to defend against two different claims from employees within their company. Court granted motion to include Local 550 to plaintiffs, but denied defendants' claim that prejudice would occur, as TWA did not demonstrate that it would be prejudiced by showing two different defenses.

On May 16, 1975, it was ordered that the Maguire (female) and the De Figueiredo (male) action be separated. Local 550 was to remain, technically, as a party defendant to De Figueiredo.

Almost ten years later, the United States District Court for the Southern District of Ne w York, under Honorable Judge Inzer B. Wyatt, heard case on December 7, 1981. The court ruled in favor of defendant's motion to dismiss, stating that the plaintiffs had not filed a timely charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and therefore that the Court lacked jurisdiction over settling the dispute on the case. "Timely filing [of a charge with EEOC] is a prerequisite to the maintenance of a Title VII action". United Airlines, Inc. v. Evans, 431 U.S. 553 (1977). Furthermore, the Court ruled that filing a claim under Equal Pay Act is frivolous because the pay difference was in favor of male employees, not female, making the plaintiff's claim irrelevant. Finally, the Court dismissed case without costs to any party against the other. De Figueiredo v. Trans World Airlines, Incorporated, 927 F. Supp. 935. (Southern District of New York, 1981).

Stephen Imm - 08/21/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Immigration
Constitutional rights
Employment
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Trans World Airlines
Plaintiff Description Plaintiff is male airline purser bring action against employer for sex discrimination; female hostesses claiming violations of discrimination based on seniority and sex.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration 1971 - n/a
Case Closing Year 1971
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Links Henry Hampton Collection: Interview of Hon. Robert Lee Carter
Henry Hampton Collection: Washington University in St. Louis
Posted: Nov. 05, 1985
By: Robert Lee Carter, Henry Hampton Collection
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Opinion 12/29/1971 (55 F.R.D. 44) (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-NY-0012-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Judges Lasker, Morris Edward (S.D.N.Y., D. Mass.)
IM-NY-0012-0001
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Dienst, Richard A. (New York)
IM-NY-0012-0001
Feldman, Gilbert (Illinois)
IM-NY-0012-0001
Moss, Richard M (New York)
IM-NY-0012-0001
Paley, Gerald E (New York)
IM-NY-0012-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Carter, Robert Lee (New York)
IM-NY-0012-0001
Other Lawyers None on record

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