On April 4, 2002, current and former Hispanic employees of Bashas', Inc. filed a class action in the U.S. District Court of Arizona under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, against Bashas'. The plaintiffs, represented by an Impact Fund ...
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On April 4, 2002, current and former Hispanic employees of Bashas', Inc. filed a class action in the U.S. District Court of Arizona under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981, against Bashas'. The plaintiffs, represented by an Impact Fund attorney and private counsel, sought declaratory, injunctive and monetary relief as well as class certification. They alleged national origin and race discrimination of their employer in pay and working conditions on behalf of themselves and all other similarly situated Latino employees.
After some discovery disputes, Parra v. Bashas', Inc., 2004 WL 5642419, on August 29, 2005, the District Court (Judge Robert C. Broomfield) certified the proposed class on the issue of working conditions, but denied certification of such class as to the issue of pay due to a lack of commonality within the class. Parra v. Bashas', Inc., 2005 WL 6182338 (D. Ariz. Aug. 29, 2005). Plaintiffs subsequently filed a motion for reconsideration and offered to redefine the pay discrimination class. The District Court denied their motion, 2006 WL 5987819, and the plaintiffs appealed the Court's decision to the 9th Circuit Court.
The Court of Appeals reversed the lower court's ruling that the plaintiffs failed to establish commonality within the proposed class regarding the pay discrimination claim, in an opinion by Judge Procter R. Hug on July 29, 2008. The Court found it an abuse of discretion of the lower court and remanded the case back to the District Court for further consideration. Parra v. Bashas', 536 F.3d 975 (9th Cir. 2008).
(In the meantime, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission was also proceeding against the same defendant, seeing enforcement of an administrative subpoena. The court in this case agreed to plaintiffs' request that that matter be transferred to it. 2009 WL 1024615. )
Upon remand, the District Court (Judge Broomfield) finally granted the plaintiff's original motion for class certification on the pay issue on May 31, 2013. In the same opinion, the court also, at defendants' request, decertified the working conditions class, in light of the recent Supreme Court precedent of Dukes v. Wal-Mart. This ended the decade-long dispute as to the issue of class certification. Parra v. Bashas', Inc., 2013 WL 2407204 (D. Ariz. May 31, 2013).
The case is ongoing.Emma Bao - 07/18/2013