Case: United States v. Baton Rouge

3:97-cv-00264 | U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana

Filed Date: April 1, 1997

Closed Date: March 14, 2003

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On April 1, 1998 the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq., in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against janitorial employees on the basis of their sex, female. In June 1992, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Boa…

On April 1, 1998 the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq., in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana against the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board. The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against janitorial employees on the basis of their sex, female.

In June 1992, the East Baton Rouge Parish School Board decided to reduce the hours for Janitor 1 employees from 6 to 4 hours and a reduce their benefits. The employees who were classified under the Janitor 1 designation were mostly female. The other janitorial designations 2 and 3, which were filled by mostly males, were left unaffected. In June 1993, 46 female employees, including the plaintiffs here, filed suit against East Baton Rouge Parish. The lawsuit alleged that the reduction in hours and benefits had a disparate impact on female employees.

Shortly after the filing of the state court lawsuit, the D.O.J. began an investigation into the hiring and promotion procedures of the School Board in regards to placement of women into the positions of Janitor II and III. In June 1997, Judge John V. Parker entered into record a consent decree which stipulated: (1) compensatory relief by offering certain individuals in rank-order according to their remedial seniority date beginning with the eligible individual with the earliest seniority date; (2) the School Board shall make employer pension fund contributions retroactive to the claimant's remedial seniority date - subject to the claimant making her retroactive employee contribution; (3) interest that has accrued on the pension fund shall be paid on a pro-rata basis; (4) individual monetary relief awards shall be administered on a case by case basis. In 1996 the school board began evaluating all positions within the district with the intent to eliminate the inefficient use of resources.

Following this evaluation it was decided that the three tiered janitorial placement system would be replaced with two categories, janitor and lead janitor both of which would be full time employees. It was also determined that janitors were overpaid which resulted in a new pay scale and decreased hourly pay for the janitors. Testing procedures were implemented in deciding the new designations for the Janitor I positions involving a "practical" test involving the use of maintenance equipment and a reading test. The reading test could be passed with an eighth grade reading level, a standard deemed necessary for safety concerns involving the use of chemicals and equipment. In addition, the consent decree made specific mention that part-time Janitor I employees be allowed to apply for the new janitor position if they met the qualifications. Of the plaintiffs, only one was able to pass the reading part of the application process, though all passed the practical part.

On November 18, 1998 the plaintiffs filed this lawsuit alleging that the School Board discriminated against them on the basis of their sex, and retaliated against them for their participation in the state lawsuit. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that: (1) the establishment of the conditions, qualifications, and job description for the new full-time janitor position, including the requirement that the applicant pass both the practical and reading tests before becoming eligible for employment in the position, was done by the defendants " with the intent to retaliate against female employees who had filed a lawsuit with the school board [or] alternatively, the conditions that [the defendants] placed on this new position had a discriminatory impact on the plaintiffs."

On September 15, 2000 the defendants filed a motion for summary judgment as to the plaintiff's claims under Title VII and under their claim of qualified immunity. On June 5, 2001 the court granted the defendant's motions and held that the plaintiff's allegations failed to satisfy the requisite elements of a Title VII retaliation claim. Specifically, the court held that the actions complained of by the plaintiffs were not "adverse employment actions." The United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit affirmed the District Court's decision.

Summary Authors

James Floyd (11/15/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

Clements, Gary (Louisiana)

Davis, W. Eugene (Louisiana)

Garza, Emilio M. (Texas)

Noland, Christine Ann (Louisiana)

Parker, John Victor (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Curran, Stephen J. (District of Columbia)

Lavin, Luis A (District of Columbia)

Murphy, Karen D (Louisiana)

Piacsek, Michael A (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

Clement, Edith Brown (Louisiana)

Clements, Gary (Louisiana)

Davis, W. Eugene (Louisiana)

Garza, Emilio M. (Texas)

Noland, Christine Ann (Louisiana)

Parker, John Victor (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Curran, Stephen J. (District of Columbia)

Lavin, Luis A (District of Columbia)

Murphy, Karen D (Louisiana)

Piacsek, Michael A (Louisiana)

Robein, Louis L Jr (Florida)

Thompson, James Patrick (Louisiana)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Picard, Nancy (Louisiana)

Sills, Kenneth F. (Louisiana)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Wilkes, Karen S. (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

United States v. EBR Parish School Board

May 26, 1999 Docket

Docket

Banks, et al v. EBR Parish School, et al

March 24, 2003 Docket

Complaint

United States v. EBR Parish School Board

April 1, 1997 Complaint
25

Order Scheduling Hearing to Consider Objections to Proposed Individual Relief Awards

United States v. EBR Parish School

Dec. 14, 1998 Order/Opinion

Order Approving Individual Relief Rewards

United States v. EBR Parish School Board

March 5, 1999 Order/Opinion
35

First Amended Complaint

United States v. EBR Parish School Board

May 28, 1999 Complaint
36

Order

United States v. EBR Parish School

June 7, 1999 Order/Opinion
42

Ruling on Motions

United States v. EBR Parish School

July 30, 1999 Order/Opinion
97

Ruling on Motion for Summary Judgment

United States v. EBR Parish School

June 5, 2001 Order/Opinion
104

Ruling

United States v. EBR Parish School

Dec. 12, 2001 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT (rgm) (Entered: 04/02/1997)

April 1, 1997
2

JOINT MOTION by USA, EBR Parish School For Conditional Entry of The Consent Decree and to Set a Fairness Hearing (Holding consent decree) (rgm) (Entered: 04/02/1997)

April 1, 1997
3

MEMORANDUM by USA in support of [2-1] joint motion For Conditional Entry of The Consent Decree and to Set a Fairness Hearing by EBR Parish School, USA (rgm) (Entered: 04/02/1997)

April 1, 1997
4

MEMORANDUM by EBR Parish School in support of [2-1] joint motion For Conditional Entry of The Consent Decree and to Set a Fairness Hearing by EBR Parish School, USA (rgm) (Entered: 04/02/1997)

April 1, 1997
5

MOTION by USA for Luis A. Lavin to Appear Pro Hac Vice (rgm) (Entered: 04/02/1997)

April 1, 1997
6

ORDER granting [2-1] joint motion For Conditional Entry of The Consent Decree and to Set a Fairness Hearig for 10:00 6/20/97 Any objections to this courts final approval and entry of the Consent Decree must be made in writing w/in 20 days prior to the Fairness Hearing. A written response to any such objections with the court, no later than three days prior to the scheduled date of the Fairness Hearing. set Notice of Compliance deadline to 6/17/97 ( signed by Chief Judge John V. Parker ), issued notices. (hcj) Modified on 04/08/1997 (Entered: 04/08/1997)

April 8, 1997
7

ORDER granting [5-1] motion by USA for Luis A. Lavin to Appear Pro Hac Vice ( signed by Chief Judge John V. Parker ), issued notices. (hcj) (Entered: 04/08/1997)

April 8, 1997
8

NOTICE of setting Scheduling Conference for 9:00 7/10/97 before a US Magistrate Judge in room 265 and directing attorneys to file a Status Report deadline set for 7/8/97 ( Joan Sheets, CRD ), issued notices. (hcj) (Entered: 04/21/1997)

April 21, 1997
9

MEMORANDUM by B.R. Assoc of School in opposition to Proposed Consent Decree (kdc) (Entered: 06/16/1997)

April 30, 1997
10

Objections by B.R. Assoc of School to Proposed Consent Decree (kdc) (Entered: 06/16/1997)

April 30, 1997
11

NOTICE of Hearing: reset Scheduling Conference for 9:00 7/17/97 in Room 265 , signed by CN issued notices. (kdc) (Entered: 05/02/1997)

May 2, 1997

Set magistrate assignment. (pah) (Entered: 05/16/1997)

May 16, 1997
12

LETTER To: Clerk of Court From: DeJuana Banks Ref: Fairness Hearing (kdc) (Entered: 06/02/1997)

May 30, 1997
13

NOTICE by Paul B. McKinnis of wanting to be apart of this case. (kdc) (Entered: 06/05/1997)

June 5, 1997
15

NOTICE of Change of Adress & Name: From: Catherine Brown to Catherine Jones 1718 Blvd DeProvince Apt # 67 B. R. LA 70816 (kdc) (Entered: 06/10/1997)

June 10, 1997
16

RESPONSE by EBR Parish School in opposition to [9-1] opposition memorandum by B.R. Assoc of School (kdc) (Entered: 06/17/1997)

June 17, 1997
17

RESPONSE by USA in opposition to [10-1] opposition memorandum by B.R. Assoc of School (kdc) (Entered: 06/17/1997)

June 17, 1997
18

CONSENT DECREE ( signed by Chief Judge John V. Parker ), issued notices. (kdc) (Entered: 06/20/1997)

June 20, 1997

Case closed (kdc) (Entered: 06/20/1997)

June 20, 1997

Evidentiary Hearing held (kdc) (Entered: 06/20/1997)

June 20, 1997
19

Minute entry: 05/20/97--fairness hearing held on proposed consent decree...THE COURT APPROVED THE CONSENT DECREE. ( signed by Chief Judge John V. Parker ) ,issued notices (kdc) (Entered: 06/20/1997)

June 20, 1997
20

ORDER denying as moot [14-1] notice by Nedra Douglas Wright as wanting to become a party , denying as moot[13-1] notice by Pearl b. McKinnis to become a party to this case. ( signed by Mag. Judge Docia L. Dalby ), issued notices. (kdc) (Entered: 07/15/1997)

July 15, 1997
21

MOTION by USA for Hearing to consider objections to proposed awards of individual relief (kdc) (Entered: 12/10/1998)

Dec. 10, 1998
22

MEMORANDUM by USA in support of [21-1] motion for Hearing to consider objections to proposed awards of individual relief by USA (kdc) (Entered: 12/10/1998)

Dec. 10, 1998
23

MOTION by USA for Stephen J Curran to Appear Pro Hac Vice (kdc) (Entered: 12/10/1998)

Dec. 10, 1998
24

ORDER granting [23-1] motion for Stephen J Curran to Appear Pro Hac Vice by USA ( signed by Mag. Judge Docia L. Dalby ), issued notices. (bw) (Entered: 12/11/1998)

Dec. 11, 1998
25

ORDER granting [21-1] motion for Hearing to consider objections to proposed awards of individual relief by USA; Hearing set for 2/26/99 at 10:00 in Courtroom 1...Any objections to the US' determinations concerning the eligibility and/or the type of relief proposed to be awarded must be made in writing by filing such objections with the court and mailing such objections to counsel for the US and the dft no later than 30 calendar days prior to the hearing...Not later than 14 calendar days following the date of entry of this Order, the US shall provide notice of the date, time, place and purpose of this hearing to all individuals who filed claims for relief; Not later than 14 calendar days following the date of entry of this Order, Dft shall provide the written notice required by para. 53 of the Consent Decree to all current employees and any non-claimants who have informed Dft in writing that they object to the relief proposed; No later than 7 calendar days before the date of the hearing, dft shall publish notice of the hearing... (signed by Judge John V. Parker ), issued notices. (bw) (Entered: 12/14/1998)

Dec. 14, 1998
26

NOTICE of Objection by Ollie Taplin to the Determination of Claim (bw) (Entered: 12/30/1998)

Dec. 29, 1998
27

NOTICE of objection by Yolanda Lovely (bw) (Entered: 01/22/1999)

Jan. 20, 1999
28

NOTICE of objection by Bertha S. Twine (bw) (Entered: 01/26/1999)

Jan. 25, 1999
29

NOTICE of objection by LaDonna Stewart (bw) (Entered: 01/28/1999)

Jan. 27, 1999
30

NOTICE of objection by Euradean Stewart (bw) (Entered: 01/28/1999)

Jan. 28, 1999
31

NOTICE of objection by Rigina Gail Whitmore Green (bw) (Entered: 02/01/1999)

Jan. 29, 1999
32

NOTICE of objection by Matissie Bland (bw) (Entered: 02/03/1999)

Feb. 2, 1999
33

RESPONSE by USA in opposition to [32-1] notice, [31-1] notice, [30-1] notice, [29-1] notice, [28-1] notice, [27-1] notice, [26-1] notice (bw) (Entered: 02/25/1999)

Feb. 23, 1999
34

Minute entry: Hearing on 2/26/99 to consider objections to proposed awards of individual relief...Court denies objections ( signed by Judge John V. Parker ) ,issued notices (elp) (Entered: 03/03/1999)

March 2, 1999
35

ORDER APPROVING INDIVIDUAL RELIEF AWARDS...further ordered that the School Board shall within 20 days drom the date of entry of this Order, notify all eligible claimants of their relief awards and provide them with releases... ( signed by Judge John V. Parker ), issued notices. (bw) (Entered: 03/05/1999)

March 5, 1999
36

NOTICE TO COUNSEL...this matter is hereby consolidated... (with 98-974-A)...the govt shall file its initial response to the allegations of plas in CA 98-974 within 30 days of the date of this notice ( signed by Judge John V. Parker ), issued notices. (bnw) (Entered: 05/27/1999)

May 26, 1999

State / Territory: Louisiana

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: April 1, 1997

Closing Date: March 14, 2003

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States on behalf of female janitorial employees

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

East Baton Rouge Parish School Board (Baton Rouge), School District

Defendant Type(s):

Jurisdiction-wide

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

Discrimination-area:

Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)

Pay / Benefits

Promotion

Seniority

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female