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Case: United States of America v. City of Pontiac, Michigan and Local #376 Fire Fighters Union, International Association of Fire Fighters

2:05-cv-72913 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan

Filed Date: July 26, 2005

Closed Date: 2008

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On July 26, 2005, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division filed this reverse-discrimination lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the City of Pontiac and the local firefighters' union. The DOJ began investigating whether the City of Pontiac's hiring and promotion policies discriminated against white men after a firefighter filed a lawsuit in July 2004 challenging the policies. The DOJ …

On July 26, 2005, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) Civil Rights Division filed this reverse-discrimination lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan against the City of Pontiac and the local firefighters' union. The DOJ began investigating whether the City of Pontiac's hiring and promotion policies discriminated against white men after a firefighter filed a lawsuit in July 2004 challenging the policies. The DOJ alleged that the City of Pontiac and the local firefighters’ union pursued policies and practices that discriminated against applicants for employment and promotion based on race and sex in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act. The DOJ sought an injunction preventing the City of Pontiac and the union from engaging in discriminatory employment policies and practices on the basis of race or sex and from failing to compensate those who suffered a loss due to discriminatory policies and procedures. Additionally, the DOJ sought fees and costs.

The complaint alleged that collective bargaining agreements entered into by the Pontiac Fire Department and the local firefighters' union established a dual system for hiring and promotion, which discriminated on the basis of sex and race. The hiring and promotion policies required that one out of every three individuals hired or promoted be either a female or a minority. Two lists were maintained for the purposes of hiring and promotion. The first list included all candidates, while the second list included only the female and minority candidates. Hiring and promotion decisions were made from the first list, but if one out of three individuals hired or promoted were not either a racial minority or female, then the second list was consulted. The DOJ alleged these policies discriminated against men and non-minorities.

The parties engaged in negotiations to resolve the dispute without a trial. On July 20, 2006, the District Court (Judge George C. Steeh) granted the DOJ's motion for the provisional entry of a consent decree. The court signed the consent decree on September 28, 2006, despite objections from a number of individuals who felt they deserved compensation but fell outside the decree’s scope. The consent decree was designed to: (1) prevent future discrimination on the basis of race and gender and (2) provide remedial relief, such as backpay, offers of employment or promotion, and retroactive seniority, for those employees and applicants affected by the allegedly discriminatory policies. The consent decree specifically enjoined the defendants from: (a) engaging in or agreeing to any act or practice that discriminated on the basis of race or sex in violation of Title VII and in relation to hiring or promotion and (b) retaliating against anyone for engaging in practices protected by Title VII, including cooperating with the investigation related to this case and seeking or receiving individual relief. The consent decree also provided for individual relief and listed individuals who were eligible for such relief. Further, the consent decree imposed record-keeping and reporting obligations on the defendant and provided that the court would retain jurisdiction for a period of two years.

It does not appear that the DOJ took any action to enforce the consent decree in court over the next two years. On October 1, 2008, after the two-year period ended, Judge Steeh dissolved the consent decree and dismissed the case. This case is closed.

Summary Authors

Kaitlin Corkran (2/24/2008)

Emily Kempa (3/17/2019)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4809417/parties/united-states-v-pontiac-city-of/


Judge(s)

Capel, Wallace Jr. (Michigan)

Majzoub, Mona K. (Michigan)

Steeh, George Caram III (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Levy, Judith Ellen (Michigan)

Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)

Seeley, Sharon (District of Columbia)

Wasserman, Carl D (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Goldstein, Eric S. (Michigan)

Judge(s)

Capel, Wallace Jr. (Michigan)

Majzoub, Mona K. (Michigan)

Steeh, George Caram III (Michigan)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Gadzichowski, John M. (District of Columbia)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Levy, Judith Ellen (Michigan)

Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)

Seeley, Sharon (District of Columbia)

Wasserman, Carl D (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Goldstein, Eric S. (Michigan)

Heinen, Mark L. (Michigan)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

2:05-cv-72913

Docket [PACER]

United States of America v. City of Pontiac, Michigan

Oct. 1, 2008

Oct. 1, 2008

Docket
1

2:05-cv-72913

Complaint

United States of America v. City of Pontiac, Michigan

July 26, 2005

July 26, 2005

Complaint
21

2:05-cv-72913

Consent Decree

United States of America v. City of Pontiac, Michigan

Sept. 28, 2006

Sept. 28, 2006

Settlement Agreement

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4809417/united-states-v-pontiac-city-of/

Last updated Nov. 2, 2022, 3:03 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT filed by United States of America against Pontiac, City of, Firefighters Union, Local 376.(DTyle, ) (Entered: 07/26/2005)

July 26, 2005

July 26, 2005

2

ORDER REASSIGNING CASE from Judge John Feikens, and Magistrate Judge Wallace Capel to Judge George Caram Steeh and Magistrate Judge Mona K Majzoub. (SSchoe, ) (Entered: 08/03/2005)

Aug. 1, 2005

Aug. 1, 2005

3

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE: Eric S. Goldstein appearing on behalf of Pontiac, City of.(DPer, ) (Entered: 08/09/2005)

Aug. 8, 2005

Aug. 8, 2005

4

ANSWER to Complaint with Affirmative Defenses by Pontiac, City of.(Goldstein, Eric) (Entered: 10/06/2005)

Oct. 6, 2005

Oct. 6, 2005

5

NOTICE TO APPEAR: Scheduling Conference set for 1/9/2006 10:00 AM before Honorable George Caram Steeh. (MBea, ) (Entered: 12/13/2005)

Dec. 13, 2005

Dec. 13, 2005

6

SCHEDULING ORDER: Final Pretrial Conference set for 12/4/2006 02:30 PM; Jury Trial set for 12/11/2006 09:00 AM before Honorable George Caram Steeh. Dispositive Motion Cut−off set for 8/25/2006. Signed by Honorable George Caram Steeh. (Refer to image for additional dates)(MBea, ) (Entered: 01/11/2006)

Jan. 9, 2006

Jan. 9, 2006

Minute Entry −Scheduling Conference held on 1/9/2006 before Honorable George Caram Steeh. (MBea, ) (Entered: 01/11/2006)

Jan. 9, 2006

Jan. 9, 2006

7

STIPULATION AND ORDER STAYING CASE until 7/5/06, by which date the parties will submit either a consent decree or a revised pretrial scheduling order. Signed by Honorable George Caram Steeh. (MBea, ) (Entered: 06/05/2006)

June 5, 2006

June 5, 2006

8

MOTION PLAINTIFF UNITED STATES' MOTION FOR PROVISIONAL ENTRY OF CONSENT DECREE AND UNITED STATES' BRIEF IN SUPPORT OF MOTION FOR PROVISIONAL ENTRY OF CONSENT DECREE by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A − proposed Consent Decree)(Levy, Judith) (Entered: 07/12/2006)

July 12, 2006

July 12, 2006

9

ORDER granting 8 Motion for provisional entry of consent decree and setting a Fairness Hearing for 9/28/06 at 2:00 PM.- Signed by Honorable George Caram Steeh. (MBea, )

July 20, 2006

July 20, 2006

RECAP
10

OBJECTION to the Entry of the Consent Decree by Rick Mathias. (BSoc, ) (Entered: 08/08/2006)

Aug. 8, 2006

Aug. 8, 2006

12

OBJECTION by Captain John Widdis to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

13

OBJECTION by Randall Rex Johnson to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

14

OBJECTION by David Robert Desrochers to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

15

OBJECTION by Roman Prosser to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

16

OBJECTION by Arthur Frantz to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

17

OBJECTION by John A Rayner to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

18

OBJECTION by George E. Hamzik to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

19

OBJECTION by Norman Lee to the Entry of the Consent Decree . (SMar, ) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 15, 2006

Aug. 15, 2006

20

RESPONSE To Objections And In Support Of Final Entry Of Consent Decree by United States of America. (Attachments: # 1 Index of Exhibits # 2 Exhibit Attachment 1 − 1980 Pontiac Fire Dept. Workforce# 3 Exhibit Attachment 2 − 2000 Pontiac Fire Dept.# 4 Exhibit a − Objection form for Jeffrey Colby)(Levy, Judith) (Entered: 09/19/2006)

Sept. 19, 2006

Sept. 19, 2006

21

CONSENT DECREE Signed by Honorable George Caram Steeh. (BSoc, )

Sept. 28, 2006

Sept. 28, 2006

RECAP

Minute Entry −Fairness Hearing held on 9/28/2006 Re: 9 Order on Motion for Provisional Entry of Consent Decree before Honorable George Caram Steeh. (Court Reporter Ron DiBartolomeo) (MBea, ) (Entered: 10/02/2006)

Sept. 28, 2006

Sept. 28, 2006

22

STIPULATED ORDER dissolving decree and dismissing case with prejudice. Signed by District Judge George Caram Steeh. (MBea) (Entered: 10/01/2008)

Oct. 1, 2008

Oct. 1, 2008

Case Details

State / Territory: Michigan

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: July 26, 2005

Closing Date: 2008

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Department of Justice on behalf of men and non-minorities who applied for employment or promotion with the City of Pontiac Fire Department while a specific collective bargaining agreement was in place

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

City of Pontiac, Michigan (Pontiac, Oakland), City

Firefighters Union, Local 376 (Pontiac, Oakland), None

Defendant Type(s):

Fire

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: 12,200

Order Duration: 2006 - 2008

Content of Injunction:

Hire

Retroactive Seniority

Discrimination Prohibition

Reporting

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Promotion

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Sex discrimination

Race:

White

Affected Gender:

Male