University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name Sharr v. NCS Pearson, Inc. EE-OR-0026
Docket / Court 3:02-cv-01513 ( D. Or. )
State/Territory Oregon
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
The plaintiffs in this case were former employees of Huntleigh USA Corporation who worked as screeners at Portland International Airport and were not retained as employees when airport screeners became federal employees. They filed suit individually and as a putative class on November 2, 2002, ... read more >
The plaintiffs in this case were former employees of Huntleigh USA Corporation who worked as screeners at Portland International Airport and were not retained as employees when airport screeners became federal employees. They filed suit individually and as a putative class on November 2, 2002, against NCS Pearson, Inc. and the Department of Transportation in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon. Nothing in the record indicates that the suit was ever certified as a class action, but class action status was not ever denied. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, sought monetary relief, claiming violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act of 1967, and the Americans with Disabilities Act. The case was assigned to Judge Robert E. Jones.

According to the complaint, plaintiffs entered into an agreement with the Transportation Security Administration [TSA] that they would receive hiring preference, and did not look for new jobs as a result. TSA hired the defendant, NCS Pearson, to administer the employment screening test. Plaintiffs alleged that the screening test was a pretextual basis for discrimination on the basis of race, gender, age, and other protected classes, and furthermore, that the test was not fairly administered. Plaintiffs further alleged that the defendant’s employees harassed them throughout the process, and that they were not hired as a result of the screening. The former Huntleigh employees who were rehired alleged that they were paid less than other similarly situated employees. Plaintiffs also filed a breach of contract claim, alleging that they were third-party beneficiaries of the contract between the defendant and TSA, and that the defendant breached the contract with TSA.

On the same day as filing the complaint, plaintiffs moved for a preliminary injunction, which requested immediate retesting of all class members under court supervision and the immediate hiring of all who passed the test. On March 3, 2003, Judge Jones denied plaintiffs' request for preliminary injunction on the grounds that the available evidence did not demonstrate unlawful discrimination sufficient to justify pre-litigation relief. Plaintiffs additionally failed to satisfy various administrative requirements that were necessary for bringing their claims.

Between March and December of 2003, plaintiffs amended their complaint. Defendants also successfully sought the dismissal of several plaintiffs through hearings.

On December 15, 2003, the defendant moved for summary judgment. On March 30, 2004, Judge Jones granted defendant’s motion for summary judgment in part and denied it in part. This judgment dismissed all of the plaintiffs’ claims against the government. Plaintiffs’ breach of contract claim was dismissed on February 14, 2005.

Various plaintiffs were dismissed from the complaint throughout the following months, it is unclear why, but it was presumably due to a lack of evidence to suggest the defendant interfered with future employment opportunities. After a lengthy discovery process, a jury trial began on April 10, 2006 and lasted until April 19, 2006. The jury found that the defendant intentionally interfered with twenty-two of the twenty-three remaining plaintiffs' prospective economic relationship with TSA, and awarded monetary relief based on economic and non-economic damages to those individual plaintiffs. In total, the plaintiffs won over $500,000 -- about $25,000 per plaintiff. All requests for attorneys’ fees were denied. The case is now closed.

Elizabeth Heise - 09/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Defendant-type
Transportation
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Age discrimination
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Black
Causes of Action Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA), 29 U.S.C. §§ 621 et seq.
Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) NCS Pearson, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Former and current employees of Portland International Airport.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2002
Case Closing Year 2006
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:02−cv−01513 (D. Or.)
EE-OR-0026-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/19/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Order [ECF# 103] (D. Or.)
EE-OR-0026-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/03/2003
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 229] (D. Or.)
EE-OR-0026-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/14/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Sixth Amended Complaint [ECF# 230]
EE-OR-0026-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/24/2005
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 417] (D. Or.)
EE-OR-0026-0008.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/24/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 536] (D. Or.)
EE-OR-0026-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/28/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Verdict [ECF# 560]
EE-OR-0026-0010.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/19/2006
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judgment [ECF# 562] (D. Or.)
EE-OR-0026-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/30/2006
Judges Jones, Robert Edward (D. Or.)
EE-OR-0026-0002 | EE-OR-0026-0003 | EE-OR-0026-0004 | EE-OR-0026-0006 | EE-OR-0026-0008 | EE-OR-0026-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers DeDobbelaere, Lori K. (Oregon)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Farr, Mary Ellen Page (Oregon)
EE-OR-0026-0005 | EE-OR-0026-9000
Park, David D. (Oregon)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Willner, Don S. (Oregon)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Azar, John G (District of Columbia)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Dippel, Courtney C. (Oregon)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Edney, Marsha S. (District of Columbia)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Greene, Carlton E. (District of Columbia)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Knepper, John G. (District of Columbia)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Santiago, Louis A. (Oregon)
EE-OR-0026-9000
Silver, Ronald K. (Oregon)
EE-OR-0026-9000

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