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Case Name Harriss v. Pan American World Airways, Inc. EE-CA-0314
Docket / Court C-74-1884 ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
Female employees of Pan American World Airways, Inc. brought this suit on August 20, 1973, in the Central District of California under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They alleged that Pan Am had engaged in sex discrimination. Specifically, the named female employees claimed that when ... read more >
Female employees of Pan American World Airways, Inc. brought this suit on August 20, 1973, in the Central District of California under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. They alleged that Pan Am had engaged in sex discrimination. Specifically, the named female employees claimed that when they became pregnant, Pan Am required them to take a pregnancy leave during a specific period and denied them employment benefits and seniority during their leave. The plaintiffs sought class certification, which was granted on January 24, 1977 by Judge William Schwarzer as to all female flight attendants who were employed by Pan Am after October 24, 1972. Harriss v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 74 F.R.D. 24 (C.D. Cal. 1977).

The case proceeded to trial, after which the District Court held that Pan Am's policies requiring commencement of leave upon pregnancy (Stop Policy) and continuation of leave for sixty days after birth (Start Policy) constituted prima facie sex discrimination but that both policies were justified as business necessities and bona fide occupational qualifications. The district court held that neither the seniority policy nor the sick leave policy constituted a prima facie violation. Harriss v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 437 F.Supp. 413 (N.D. Cal. 1977), supplemented in 441 F.Supp. 881 (N.D. Cal. 1977)

The class action plaintiffs did not appeal the district court's sick leave holding but did appeal the violation of the Stop and Start Policies and the Seniority Policy to the Ninth Circuit. In 1980, the Court of Appeals (Farris, J.) agreed with the District Court that the Stop Policy, although prima facie sex discrimination, was justified by safety considerations. It remanded for additional fact-finding on the Start Policy. It also held that the Seniority Policy constituted prima facie sex discrimination and instructed the district court to determine whether Pan Am established that its policy was justified as either a business necessity or a bona fide occupation qualification. Harriss v. Pan American World Airways, Inc., 649 F.2d 670 (9th Cir. 1980). Judge Schroeder dissented, and would have held all three policies in violation of Title VII.

The outcome of this action on remand is unknown.

- 04/15/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Pregnancy discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Impact
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Pan American World Airways, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Female flight attendants employed by Pan Am who complained that the company's pregnancy policy discriminated against female employees.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Unknown
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Unknown
Filing Year 1974
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Docket(s)
No docket sheet currently in the collection
General Documents
Harriss v. Pan American World Airways, Inc. (74 F.R.D. 24) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0314-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 01/24/1977
Source: Westlaw
Memorandum and Decision of the Facts (437 F.Supp. 413) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0314-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 09/02/1977
Source: Westlaw
SUPPLEMENTAL MEMORANDUM OF DECISION (441 F.Supp. 881) (N.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0314-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 12/19/1977
Source: Westlaw
Opinion (649 F.2d 670)
EE-CA-0314-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 06/22/1981
Source: Westlaw
show all people docs
Judges Schwarzer, William W (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001 | EE-CA-0314-0002 | EE-CA-0314-0004
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chandler, Jo Ann (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Davis, Nancy L. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Dunlap, Mary (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Erickson, John H. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Graff, Joan Messing (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Hansen, John T. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Hewitt, Henry S. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Ince, Nancy Scott (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Lipson, David R. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Russell, Dayne Lee (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Steinbock, Mariam (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Sweet, Clifford (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Wallace, Robert B. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Yank, Ronald (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Defendant's Lawyers Barron, George J. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Beeson, Duane B. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Diedrich, William L. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Hoeg, Karen L. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
McFeely, Stephen A. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Odle, James N. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Paras, James C. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Phillips, Barbara Ashley (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Rosenfeld, David Albert (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Rotman, David A. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Venning, Robert S. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Waysman, William H. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Wheeler, Raymond L. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Wood, Robert N. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001
Zebrack, Joel (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0314-0001

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