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Case Name Juarez v. Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company, Inc. EE-NY-0291
Docket / Court 1:14-cv-05107-KBF ( S.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection Private Employment Class Actions
Attorney Organization MALDEF
Outten & Golden
Case Summary
On July 9, 2014, a lawfully-present alien authorized to work in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff sued Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, Inc ... read more >
On July 9, 2014, a lawfully-present alien authorized to work in the U.S. under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (“DACA”) program filed this class action lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. The plaintiff sued Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, Inc., under 42 U.S.C. § 1981, alleging discrimination based on alienage in the making of employment contracts. Represented by private counsel and MALDEF, he sought declaratory, injunctive, and monetary relief. Citing the defendant’s advertised practice of requiring new employees to have had three or more continuous years of U.S. residency, hold permanent visas, and read and write English fluently, the plaintiff alleged that the company unlawfully refused or rescinded employment contracts to individuals based on their status as non-citizens or permanent residents. The named plaintiff, who had applied for employment and interviewed with the defendant, alleged that after one of its employees learned of his status as a non-citizen without a green card, the company decided to decline him an employment contract because of his alienage status.

On September 4, 2014 the defendant filed a motion to dismiss the plaintiff’s complaint. After hearing oral arguments, Judge Katherine Forrest denied the motion to dismiss on November 11, 2014, holding that the plaintiff could successfully plead intentional discrimination by alleging that the defendant acted pursuant to a facially discriminatory policy. In this case, Judge Forrest found that the policy facially discriminated against lawfully present aliens without green cards, who, as lawfully present aliens, are protected by § 1981. 69 F.Supp.3d 364.

The defendants moved to appeal shortly after, and on December 20, 2014 Judge Forrest stayed the case pending the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit’s decision whether or not to accept the defendant’s interlocutory appeal. On March 17, 2015, the Second Circuit granted the defendants permission to appeal the District Court’s (non-final) denial of their motion to dismiss.

However, before appellate briefing, the parties settled, out-of-court. On May 20, 2015 the plaintiffs filed a stipulation for dismissal of the case with prejudice, with each party to pay their own fees and expenses. Although the details of the settlement are unclear, on August 19, 2015, MALDEF posted the following on Facebook, which appears to be related to the settlement in this case: "As part of an amicable legal agreement, MALDEF and Northwestern Mutual have launched a new recruitment program aimed at immigrants authorized to work, without sponsorship, including those in the DACA program, interested in a financial representative internship or financial representative contract." According to the post, individuals may be eligible for up to $7,500 in awards if they were told on or after July 1, 2010 that they were ineligible for a financial representative internship or contract because of their work authorization or immigration classification.

Lauren Latterell Powell - 10/01/2017


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Hire
Discrimination-area
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance, Inc.
Plaintiff Description A lawfully present alien with authorization to work in the U.S. who was denied an employment contract with the defendant because of his alienage status.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations MALDEF
Outten & Golden
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Moot
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Filing Year 2014
Case Closing Year 2015
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:14-cv-05107-KBF (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0291-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/04/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Class Action Complaint [ECF# 2]
EE-NY-0291-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/09/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion and Order [ECF# 44] (69 F.Supp.3d 364) (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0291-0001.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Date: 11/14/2014
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Stipulation for Dismissal [ECF# 69]
EE-NY-0291-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/01/2015
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Forrest, Katherine Bolan (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0291-0001 | EE-NY-0291-0003 | EE-NY-0291-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cortez, Veronica (Illinois)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Eiland, Katrina L. (California)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Klein, Adam T. (New York)
EE-NY-0291-0002 | EE-NY-0291-0003 | EE-NY-0291-9000
Litrownik, Michael Noah (New York)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Miazad, Ossai (New York)
EE-NY-0291-0002 | EE-NY-0291-9000
Quinto, Olivia J (New York)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Saenz, Thomas A. (California)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Steel, Lewis M (New York)
EE-NY-0291-0002 | EE-NY-0291-9000
Viramontes, Victor (California)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Haase, John A (Wisconsin)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Heaton, Paul F (Wisconsin)
EE-NY-0291-0003 | EE-NY-0291-9000
Killeen, Brendan Thomas (New York)
EE-NY-0291-9000
Parlo, Christopher (New York)
EE-NY-0291-9000

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