On February 13, 2007, six former and two current employees brought this case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, asserting federal and state employment discrimination and related civil rights claims against Denver Health and Hospital Authority and various Denver Healthy ...
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On February 13, 2007, six former and two current employees brought this case in the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, asserting federal and state employment discrimination and related civil rights claims against Denver Health and Hospital Authority and various Denver Healthy officials and management level employees. Each claim alleged one or more adverse employment actions, including being passed over for rehiring, being supervised by less qualified individuals, being moved to less desirable office space or positions, or being disciplined unfairly, based on either race or ethnicity or in retaliation for complaining about discriminatory practices.
Plaintiffs in this case brought their claims in two separate class actions. The first was an individualized action by Renee Atwell, filed in November 2006 but amended in February 2007 to add three plaintiffs. The second claim (Gomez et al v. Gabow et al) was filed in state court during the pendency of defendants' Motions to Dismiss the Atwell case (the first claim) by four members of Atwell's class. This case was reassigned and consolidated with Atwell.
The plaintiffs' claims fell into two general categories - (1) individual employment discrimination claims for disparate treatment and retaliation against Denver Health under Title VII and Colorado State law analogs (asserted by Atwell plaintiffs only); and (2) sweeping civil rights claims against Denver Health and various Denver Health officials in their official and individual capacity for violating their rights to equal benefit of the laws secured by § 1981 and for depriving them of their rights secured by §§ 1981, 1983, and 1988, in violation of § 1983.
The district court denied the plaintiffs' motion to certify a class action for failure to meet Rule 23(a)'s requirements - numerosity, commonality, typicality, and adequacy of representation. Shortly after, the district court dismissed the majority of plaintiffs' claims under FRCP 12(b)(6). Plaintiffs appealed to the Tenth Circuit, but solely on the district court's dismissal of their § 1981 claims. The Tenth Circuit found that the majority of the § 1981 claims failed to meet the pleading standards set forth in Iqbal v. Twombly. Further, the Court dismissed an individualized plaintiff's § 1981 retaliation claim, concluding that under this court's precedent, the claim was actionable only under Title VII. A few weeks after this decision, the Supreme Court held that § 1981 does encompass retaliation claims (128 S.Ct. 1951, 1954-55 (2008)), but the Tenth Circuit did not need to consider the applicability of this holding because the dismissal was found to be nonetheless proper with no abuse of discretion in the district court. The judgment of the district court was affirmed.
On February 7, 2009, the Plaintiff filed a Stipulation of Dismissal with Prejudice, which disposed of any remaining claims. Christina Bonanni - 06/08/2014