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Case Name Smith v. City of Boston EE-MA-0025
Docket / Court 1:12-cv-10291-WGY ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On February 14, 2012, a group of minority Boston City police officers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against the City of Boston. The plaintiffs filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that police promotional exams used in ... read more >
On February 14, 2012, a group of minority Boston City police officers filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts against the City of Boston. The plaintiffs filed suit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, alleging that police promotional exams used in 2008 to promote sergeants to lieutenants had a disparate impact on black and latino officers. The plaintiffs contended that the multiple-choice examinations used were unfairly biased against minority candidates and failed to measure certain other job-related skills (for example, interpersonal skills) that are necessary for the position of lieutenant.

The case was originally assigned to Judge Joseph L. Tauro of the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts. Various extensions of time and stays were granted. On December 26, 2013, Judge Tauro took senior status and was replaced on the case by Judge William G. Young.

In January 2014, Judge Young set a trial date for December 2014.

The bench trial began on December 15, 2014, and concluded on January 7, 2015. In May 2015, both parties submitted post-trial briefs with proposed findings of fact. On November 16, 2015, Judge Young issued his decision, ruling that the 2008 promotional exam did unfairly disadvantage minority candidates and was insufficiently job-related to survive scrutiny under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

On February 1, 2016, before beginning a jury trial for damages, both parties agreed to enter mediation with goal of settling upon appropriate remedies and damages. The assigned meditator, Judge Robert B. Collings, filed a report on June 9, 2016, stating that the parties did not settle. Settlement negotiations were complicated by the First Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in May 2016 in the related case of Lopez v. City of Lawrence, which held that the 2008 police promotional exams did not violate Title VII.

As a result, the plaintiffs and defendant jointly sought interlocutory review. Judge Young granted this motion, and certified the question to the First Circuit on July 9, 2016. The First Circuit denied the joint motion for interlocutory review without prejudice pending the District Court's application of Lopez to the facts of this case.

Following briefing by both parties on Lopez's application to this case, Judge Young affirmed his prior determination in favor of the plaintiffs on July 26, 2017. Noting the factual differences between this case and Lopez, Judge Young found that the City had failed to show that the test was job-related to the position of lieutenant and consistent with "business necessity."

On August 11, 2017, Judge Young granted the plaintiffs' renewed motion for interlocutory review. However, as of December 2018, there has been no further activity in the docket.

Ian Sander - 10/09/2016
Eva Richardson - 12/23/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Promotion
Testing
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Impact
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action State Anti-Discrimination Law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Boston
Plaintiff Description Minority police officers denied promotion based on alleged discriminatory promotional exam.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2012
Case Ongoing Yes
Additional Resources
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  See this case at CourtListener.com (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Docket(s)
1:12−cv−10291−WGY (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0025-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/26/2018
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint, Compensatory, Injunctive and Declaratory Relief Requested [ECF# 1]
EE-MA-0025-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/14/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint, Compensatory, Injunctive and Declaratory Relief Requested [ECF# 14]
EE-MA-0025-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/04/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Bench Trial Transcript [ECF# 167]
EE-MA-0025-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/19/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiffs' Post-Trial Brief on Equally Valid But Less Discriminatory Alternatives and Incorporating Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law [ECF# 191]
EE-MA-0025-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/04/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Finding of Fact, Rulings of Law, and Order [ECF# 199] (144 F.Supp.3d 177) (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0025-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/16/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Order [ECF# 228] (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0025-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/09/2016
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum & Order [ECF# 245] (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0025-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2017
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Young, William G. (D. Mass.) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0002 | EE-MA-0025-0003 | EE-MA-0025-0004 | EE-MA-0025-0007 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Churchill, Stephen S (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0001 | EE-MA-0025-0002 | EE-MA-0025-0005 | EE-MA-0025-0006 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Lichten, Harold L. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0001 | EE-MA-0025-0002 | EE-MA-0025-0005 | EE-MA-0025-0006 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Smolik, Sara E (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0001 | EE-MA-0025-0006 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Weber, Benjamin (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0002 | EE-MA-0025-0005 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Bok, Geoffrey R. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0002 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Condon, Amy E. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-9000
Hodge, Kay H (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0002 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Simon, John M (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-0002 | EE-MA-0025-9000
Taub, Nicole I. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-9000
Other Lawyers Quinan, Robert L. Jr. (Massachusetts) show/hide docs
EE-MA-0025-9000

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