Black employees of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation filed a class action complaint against the agency under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging racial discrimination in promotions. The plaintiffs filed their complaint in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia (Judge Ellen S. Huvelle.)
On November 8, 1993, Plaintiffs filed an administrative class action complaint with the FDIC, alleging race discrimination in promotions. The complaint cited Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. The plaintiffs sought monetary and injunctive relief. After the FDIC forwarded the complaint, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) certified the class on January 13, 1998. However, the parties disputed the definition of the class and the EEOC's Office of Federal Operations ordered the parties, on February 4, 1999, to submit the issue to the Administrative Judge assigned to the complaint. Instead, however, the parties entered mediation with Linda Singer of ADR Associates, which lead to an agreement on December 22, 2000. The parties filed a new class action complaint in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The administrative action was dismissed on March 8, 2001.
In an unpublished order on April 6, 2001, the Court granted a motion for class certification. In an unpublished order on November 26, 2001, the court approved the consent decree. The consent decree was to last three years from the date of approval. It applied to a settlement class consisting of "All African-Americans employed by the FDIC in any capacity (whether permanent, temporary, or term, including, without limitation, all General/Corporate Grade, Liquidation Grade and Wage Grade/Prevailing Rate employees, but excluding any persons to the extent that their employment at the FDIC is or was solely in the capacity of student intern) at any time from May 13, 1992, to March 31, 2001." The FDIC agreed to pay $14m in monetary damages including back pay, front pay, employment benefits, interest, and $2m in attorneys' fees. Of this total, $500,000 would go to class representatives. Other class members would receive damages based on a formula. The FDIC would pay interest only if an appeal delayed payment by 60 days after the effective date of the consent decree.
The FDIC also agreed to pay a number of fees, including: a maximum of $110,000 to the plaintiffs' expert, who would determine class awards; a maximum of $10,000 to the claim administrator; a maximum of $100,000 in attorneys fees and expenses to defend the decree in the Court of Appeals and U.S. Supreme Court, if necessary; up to $15,000 per year for monitoring and compliance; fees of a neutral expert up to $100,000 for monitoring and compliance, a maximum of $50,000 for attorneys' fees for monitoring and compliance and $45,000 for mediation; $30,000 for a mediator for the first year, $25,000 for the second year, and $20,000 for the third year, and employer taxes on payments from the back pay fund.
The consent decree also contained "equitable relief," which required that the FDIC work with a neutral expert to create a new system for promotions for competitive and non-competitive positions, which would include interview guidelines and objective criteria for promotion. The FDIC agreed that supervisors would make job assignments in a way as to maximize advancement potential. The FDIC agreed to train all personnel in diversity and in the new system of promotions and to cooperate with class counsel and the neutral expert in monitoring implementation of the equitable relief. On December 3, 2002, the Court granted a motion for approval of final distribution of the settlement proceeds pursuant to the Consent Decree.
In an unpublished order on May 15, 2001, Judge Ellen S. Huvelle denied a motion by certain Claimants to intervene. The only activity in the Court of Appeals was an unpublished per curiam order affirming the District Court's denial of the motion to intervene. Conanan v. Tanoue, No. 01-5174, 2001 WL 1488621 (D.C. Cir. Oct. 16, 2001).Eric Weiler - 06/26/2010