Case: United States v. Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority

2:97-cv-01161 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania

Filed Date: Feb. 18, 1997

Closed Date: Feb. 6, 2007

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On February 18, 1997 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 Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. The D.O.J. sought injunctive and compensatory relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by requiring applicants to complete a fitness test. The applicants sought positions as officers with the transit authorit…

On February 18, 1997 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 Eastern District of Pennsylvania against the Southeastern Pennsylvania Transportation Authority. The D.O.J. sought injunctive and compensatory relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by requiring applicants to complete a fitness test.

The applicants sought positions as officers with the transit authority's police force. As part of the application process, the applicants had to pass a physical endurance test, which required all applicants to run 1.5 miles in 12 minutes. The applicants did not pass this running test and were not permitted to continue with the application process. By requiring such a standard that was more easily achieved by men, the fitness examination was seen as sexual discrimination and having a disparate impact on prospective female employees. The suit was originally filed by the female applicants, and soon after the U.S. government also filed an action against the transit authority. Both suits were combined for trial.

After a bench trial, the Court (Honorable Clarence C. Newcomer) found for the defendant. It found that the run requirement had a severe adverse impact against women, but that the transit authority did establish a job-related and business necessity in the requirement.

On appeal, the United State Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit enunciated a new standard for business necessity, and remanded the case to the court to determine if the defendant had carried its burden of establishing the physical requirements were the minimum aerobic capacity necessary to perform successfully the job of a transit police officer. Based on the evidence presented at both trials, the input of defendant's management, and the comprehensive studies of defendant's experts, the court concluded that meeting defendant's aerobic capacity standard was clearly the minimum required to perform the critical tasks of the job such as pursuits, officer back-ups, officer assists and arrests. The court further found that any lesser requirement simply would not satisfy the minimum qualifications for the job of transit police officer and would endanger the public and undermine deterrence of crime and apprehension of criminals. Judgment was entered again for defendant.

After the Judge Newcomer's ruling was affirmed, the Clerk of Court entered a Taxation of Costs against the plaintiffs, to which they objected. The plaintiffs argued that the Clerk's Taxation of Costs was improper because: (1) the bill of costs expired when the first judgment was vacated by the Court of Appeals, and no bill of costs was filed after a final judgment; (2) the time between the entry of a final judgment and the Clerk's taxation of costs was unreasonable; (3) the petition for costs was effectively abandoned by the Defendant; and (4) expedited deposition transcript fees are not justified. On February 6, 2007 Judge Mary A. McLaughlin found for the defendant and approved the Joint Stipulation of Voluntary Dismissal and Release of All Claims. It was ordered that the plaintiffs shall pay defendants court costs in the amount of $45,000.

This case was dismissed on February 6, 2007.

Summary Authors

James Floyd (11/11/2007)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4696262/parties/united-states-v-southeast-pa-trans/


Judge(s)

Mansmann, Carol Los (Pennsylvania)

McKee, Theodore Alexander (Pennsylvania)

McLaughlin, Mary A. (Pennsylvania)

Newcomer, Clarence Charles (Pennsylvania)

Scuderi, Peter B. (Pennsylvania)

Weis, Joseph Francis Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)

Blutter, Sarah C (District of Columbia)

Churchill, Michael (Pennsylvania)

Epstein, Jules (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Mansmann, Carol Los (Pennsylvania)

McKee, Theodore Alexander (Pennsylvania)

McLaughlin, Mary A. (Pennsylvania)

Newcomer, Clarence Charles (Pennsylvania)

Scuderi, Peter B. (Pennsylvania)

Weis, Joseph Francis Jr. (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Blustein, Benjamin Jay (District of Columbia)

Blutter, Sarah C (District of Columbia)

Churchill, Michael (Pennsylvania)

Epstein, Jules (Pennsylvania)

Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)

Libman, Robert S (District of Columbia)

Lohier, Raymond Joseph Jr. (New York)

Rau, Lisa M (Pennsylvania)

Ugelow, Richard S (District of Columbia)

Votaw, Catherine (Pennsylvania)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Krenzel, Saul H (Pennsylvania)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

United States of America v. Southeastern Pennyslvania Transportation Authority

Feb. 16, 2007 Docket
22

Opinion

United States of America v. Southeastern Pennyslvania Transportation Authority

176 F.R.D. 132

Aug. 13, 1997 Order/Opinion
27

Opinion

1997 WL 597905

Sept. 17, 1997 Order/Opinion
33

Opinion

1997 WL 688824

Oct. 10, 1997 Order/Opinion
63

Opinion

1998 WL 341605

June 25, 1998 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

181 F.3d 478

June 29, 1999 Order/Opinion

Opinion

United States v. Southeastern Pennyslvania Transportation Authority

Supreme Court of the United States

528 U.S. 1131, 145 L.Ed.2d 840

Jan. 18, 2000 Order/Opinion
78

Opinion

United States v. Southeastern Pennyslvania Transportation Authority

2000 WL 1790125

Dec. 7, 2000 Order/Opinion

Opinion

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit

308 F.3d 286

Oct. 15, 2002 Order/Opinion
91

Judgment

United States of America v. Southeastern Pennyslvania Transportation Authority

Aug. 23, 2006 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4696262/united-states-v-southeast-pa-trans/

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
95

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER THAT THE LANNING PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ENLARGEMENT OF TIME IS GRANTED AS UNOPPOSED. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED THAT THE MOTION TO REVIEW CLERK'S TAXATION OF COSTS IS DENIED AS IT RELATES TO STRIKING THE TAXATION IN ITS ENT IRETY AND GRANTED AS TO THE PLAINTIFFS' REQUEST FOR ADDITIONAL TIME TO REVIEW THE DEFENDANT'S EXPEDITED DEPOSITION TRANSCRIPT FEES. THE PLAINTIFFS SHALL FILE ANY SUPPORTING MATERIALS BY 11/30/06 AND DEFENDANTS SHALL FILE ANY RESPONSE BY 12/7/2006. SIGNED BY JUDGE MARY A. MCLAUGHLIN ON 10/31/06. 11/2/06 ENTERED AND COPIES MAILED AND E-MAILED.(le, )

Nov. 1, 2006 RECAP

State / Territory: Pennsylvania

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Feb. 18, 1997

Closing Date: Feb. 6, 2007

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States on behalf of prospective female transportation officers

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

Kairys, Rudovsky, Messing & Feinberg, LLP

Public Interest Law Center (PILCOP)

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Pennsylvania, State

Defendant Type(s):

Transportation

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Form of Settlement:

Voluntary Dismissal

Issues

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Testing

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female