On December 12, 1996, four female technical employees at a various CBS television studios filed a lawsuit under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq., and the Minnesota Human Rights Act ("MHRA"), Minn. Stat. § 363.01 et. seq. against CBS, Inc. in the United States District Court of the District of Minnesota.
The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for monetary damages and injunctive relief, charging the Company with discriminating against female employees. Plaintiffs allege the defendant systematically discriminated against female technical employees in assignments, promotions, training, and overtime, and by maintaining a hostile work environment. According to plaintiffs' expert analysis, "women tend to be concentrated in the lower paying per diem jobs, instead of staff jobs [charts omitted]. During 1993-98, women held between 22% and 27% of per diem positions, but 15-17% of staff jobs. Per diem employees earn about 1/4 as much as staff employees, on the average. Both of these patterns are consistent across stations."
On August 13, 1997, both parties filed a joint motion to dismiss. This motion was denied on September 12, 1997. On October 13, 1998, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. On March 18, 1999 plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.
On August 23, 1999, defendant filed motion for summary judgment. On September 3, 1999, plaintiffs filed motion for class certification. On March 31, 2000, the court (Judge Arthur J. Boylan) issued an order granting plaintiffs' motion for class certification, and denying defendant's motion for summary judgment. The class was certified as follows:
"Females who are or have been employed by CBS as technicians at WCCO-TV or in the Engineering and Operation Department at KCBS-TV, WCBS-TV, WBBM-TV, or WFRV-TV [**27] for the time period of October 6, 1993 to present who have been, continue to be, or may in the future be discriminated against because of their sex with respect to assignments, promotion, training or overtime; or for the time period of July 5, 1995 to present who have been, continue to be, or may in the future be discriminated against because of their sex with respect to a hostile environment. As it relates to the discrimination as to overtime, the class is limited to female full-time technical employees. "
On November 1, 2000, the parties entered a consent decree, settling the case for $8.1 million and injunctive relief. The injunctive relief included additional training for female technicians, job posting requirements, employee interest surveys, changes in the manner of overtime and other sought-after job assignments and other matters designed to further the careers of female technicians at CBS and the six covered CBS-owned stations: WCCO-TV, KCBS-TV, WCBS-TV, WBBM-TV, WFRV-TV, and WWJ-TV.
On October 25, 2000, plaintiffs filed motion requesting preliminary approval of a consent decree. On November 17, 2000 this motion was granted, and on January 22, 2001, the court (Judge Boylan) ordered for final approval of the consent decree, closing the case.
We have not found a copy of the Consent Decree; the PACER docket live links start after its entry.
The Consent Decree was effective through January 19, 2005.Julianne Nowicki - 07/25/2010