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Case Name United States by Clark v. H. K. Porter Company, Inc. EE-AL-0127
Docket / Court 67-363 ( N.D. Ala. )
State/Territory Alabama
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Civil Rights Division Archival Collection
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
This case predates PACER, so we do not have a docket. Information from the case was found in court opinions and in documents uploaded below, which were found in the papers of Brian Landsberg.

In 1967, the ... read more >
This case predates PACER, so we do not have a docket. Information from the case was found in court opinions and in documents uploaded below, which were found in the papers of Brian Landsberg.

In 1967, the United States filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Alabama under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The U.S. sued a company operating steel manufacturing facilities employing approximately 700 individuals in Birmingham, Alabama. The U.S. alleged that the defendant engaged in patterns and practices of racial discrimination in employment, such as classifying departments and jobs to provide higher paying jobs for white employees and failing to provide equal opportunities for advancement and promotion for black employees. The U.S. sought fees and costs and an injunction barring the defendant from:
  • engaging in any racially discriminatory employment practice
  • classifying department and job categories to provide higher paying jobs for white employees and lower paying jobs for black employees
  • failing to provide equal opportunities for advancement
  • assigning employees to jobs in promotion lines on the basis of race
  • limiting, segregating, or classifying employees to deprive black employees of employment opportunities; and
  • failing to take reasonable steps to correct past racial discrimination.

    Following the complaint, the defendant filed a motion to dismiss for failure to state a claim and for failure to join parties, arguing that the complaint did not contain specific enough facts of discrimination and that the United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO, and its local union were required parties because relief couldn't be granted without affecting the unions' interests. In addition, the defendant filed a motion for a more definite statement. On July 28, 1967, Judge Seybourn H. Lynne declined to dismiss the case, but granted the defendant's motion for a more definite statement and for the joinder of the unions as defendants. Judge Lynne ordered the plaintiff to file an amended complaint.

    After several discovery disputes and two pretrial conferences, the case was tried from August 12, 1968 to August 21, 1968. 296 F.Supp. 40. Throughout the trial, the parties engaged in a comprehensive and exhaustive presentation of evidence relating to the variety of positions, programs, and job classifications at the defendant company. For the majority of positions and programs, Judge Clarence W. Allgood held that the defendants implemented a pattern of equal opportunities in employment. In two areas, however—temporary assignments from the 'Extra Board' and the Roll Change Helper job classification—Judge Allgood held that discriminatory practices did exist and granted injunctive relief to eliminate this practice. According to the order, the defendant company was enjoined from giving preference to white employees over black employees when making temporary assignments to jobs from the Extra Board. In making temporary assignments, the defendant company was ordered to first call employees holding seniority and then call employees for assignments in order of their age with the company. The defendant was also ordered to transfer all Roll Changer Helpers to the Roll Changer Grade III, an essentially similar job. The court retained jurisdiction for the limited injunction and to determine attorneys' fees.

    The U.S. appealed to a three-judge panel in the Fifth Circuit. On March 19, 1974, the Court held that major changes in the seniority and the defendants' other systems were required to achieve compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. 491 F.2d 1105. The Court directed the parties to propose a decree to bring the seniority system into compliance, and the parties submitted a proposed decree. The case was remanded and on March 22, 1974, Judge Lynne entered the decree. Under the decree, the defendants were enjoined from engaging in any acts or practices having the purpose or effect of discrimination on the basis of race. The decree included specific adjustments to the seniority system and the process for filling permanent vacancies. It limited the circumstances under which the employer may test applicants for transfers between departments and required the employer to publish the terms of the decree throughout the workplace. The court retained jurisdiction of the action for the entry of any decrees necessary to reach complete compliance with Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

    We do not know the history of case beyond this summary. Presumably, the case is closed.

    Emily Kempa - 06/18/2019


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    Issues and Causes of Action
    click to show/hide detail
    Issues
    Content of Injunction
    Discrimination Prohibition
    Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
    Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
    Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
    Discrimination-area
    Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
    Promotion
    Seniority
    Testing
    Discrimination-basis
    Race discrimination
    General
    Pattern or Practice
    Plaintiff Type
    U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
    Race
    Black
    Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
    Defendant(s) H. K. Porter Company, Inc.
    United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO
    Plaintiff Description U.S. Deptartment of Justice
    Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
    Class action status sought No
    Class action status granted No
    Filed Pro Se No
    Prevailing Party Plaintiff
    Public Int. Lawyer No
    Nature of Relief Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
    Source of Relief Litigation
    Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
    Order Duration 1974 - n/a
    Filing Year 1967
    Case Ongoing No reason to think so
    Docket(s)
    No docket sheet currently in the collection
    General Documents
    Plaintiff's Memorandum in Opposition to Motions of Defendant Company
    EE-AL-0127-0003.pdf | Detail
    Date:
    Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
    Complaint
    EE-AL-0127-0004.pdf | Detail
    Date:
    Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
    Brief in Support of Plaintiff's Proposed Findings of Fact, Conclusions of Law, and Decree
    EE-AL-0127-0001.pdf | Detail
    Date:
    Source: Papers of Brian Landsberg
    Order (N.D. Ala.)
    EE-AL-0127-0005.pdf | Detail
    Date: 07/28/1967
    Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
    Meeting Between Representatives of the United Steelworkers of America, AFL-CIO and the Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, on August 27,1967, to Discuss U.S. v. H.K. Porter Company, Inc.
    EE-AL-0127-0002.pdf | Detail
    Date: 10/12/1967
    Source: Papers of Owen Fiss
    Opinion (296 F.Supp. 40) (N.D. Ala.)
    EE-AL-0127-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
    Date: 12/30/1968
    Source: Westlaw
    Opinion (491 F.2d 1105)
    EE-AL-0127-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
    Date: 03/19/1974
    Source: Westlaw
    Opinion (1974 WL 10524 / 1974 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 13166) (N.D. Ala.)
    EE-AL-0127-0008.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
    Date: 03/22/1974
    Source: Westlaw
    show all people docs
    Judges Allgood, Clarence W. (N.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0006
    Bell, Griffin Boyette (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0007
    Brown, John Robert (Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0007
    Ingraham, Joe McDonald (S.D. Tex., Fifth Circuit) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0007
    Lynne, Seybourn Harris (N.D. Ala.) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0005 | EE-AL-0127-0008
    Plaintiff's Lawyers Clark, Ramsey (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0004
    Doar, John (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0002 | EE-AL-0127-0004
    Dunbaugh, Frank M. III (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0001 | EE-AL-0127-0004
    Ewald, Thomas R. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0001 | EE-AL-0127-0003
    Goldsmith, Herbert A. Jr. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0001
    Nixon, John Trice (Tennessee) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0001
    Norman, David L. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0003
    Pollak, Stephen J. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0001
    Ruzicho, Andrew [Jack] Jack (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0001
    Weaver, Macon L. (Alabama) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0001 | EE-AL-0127-0003 | EE-AL-0127-0004
    Weinberg, Barry H. (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
    EE-AL-0127-0003

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