Case: Beckmann v. CBS Inc.

3:96-cv-01172 | U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota

Filed Date: Dec. 12, 1996

Closed Date: 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 12, 1996, four female technical employees at a various CBS television studios filed a lawsuit under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq., and the Minnesota Human Rights Act ("MHRA"), Minn. Stat. § 363.01 et. seq. against CBS, Inc. in the United States District Court of the District of Minnesota. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for monetary damages and injunctive relief, charging the Company with discriminating against fe…

On December 12, 1996, four female technical employees at a various CBS television studios filed a lawsuit under both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq., and the Minnesota Human Rights Act ("MHRA"), Minn. Stat. § 363.01 et. seq. against CBS, Inc. in the United States District Court of the District of Minnesota.

The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for monetary damages and injunctive relief, charging the Company with discriminating against female employees. Plaintiffs allege the defendant systematically discriminated against female technical employees in assignments, promotions, training, and overtime, and by maintaining a hostile work environment. According to plaintiffs' expert analysis, "women tend to be concentrated in the lower paying per diem jobs, instead of staff jobs [charts omitted]. During 1993-98, women held between 22% and 27% of per diem positions, but 15-17% of staff jobs. Per diem employees earn about 1/4 as much as staff employees, on the average. Both of these patterns are consistent across stations."

On August 13, 1997, both parties filed a joint motion to dismiss. This motion was denied on September 12, 1997. On October 13, 1998, plaintiffs filed an amended complaint. On March 18, 1999 plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.

On August 23, 1999, defendant filed motion for summary judgment. On September 3, 1999, plaintiffs filed motion for class certification. On March 31, 2000, the court (Judge Arthur J. Boylan) issued an order granting plaintiffs' motion for class certification, and denying defendant's motion for summary judgment. The class was certified as follows:

"Females who are or have been employed by CBS as technicians at WCCO-TV or in the Engineering and Operation Department at KCBS-TV, WCBS-TV, WBBM-TV, or WFRV-TV [**27] for the time period of October 6, 1993 to present who have been, continue to be, or may in the future be discriminated against because of their sex with respect to assignments, promotion, training or overtime; or for the time period of July 5, 1995 to present who have been, continue to be, or may in the future be discriminated against because of their sex with respect to a hostile environment. As it relates to the discrimination as to overtime, the class is limited to female full-time technical employees. "

On November 1, 2000, the parties entered a consent decree, settling the case for $8.1 million and injunctive relief. The injunctive relief included additional training for female technicians, job posting requirements, employee interest surveys, changes in the manner of overtime and other sought-after job assignments and other matters designed to further the careers of female technicians at CBS and the six covered CBS-owned stations: WCCO-TV, KCBS-TV, WCBS-TV, WBBM-TV, WFRV-TV, and WWJ-TV.

On October 25, 2000, plaintiffs filed motion requesting preliminary approval of a consent decree. On November 17, 2000 this motion was granted, and on January 22, 2001, the court (Judge Boylan) ordered for final approval of the consent decree, closing the case.

We have not found a copy of the Consent Decree; the PACER docket live links start after its entry.

The Consent Decree was effective through January 19, 2005.

Summary Authors

Julianne Nowicki (7/25/2010)

People


Judge(s)

Boylan, Arthur J. (Minnesota)

Frank, Donovan W. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boler, Jean M. (Washington)

Lang, Jane (District of Columbia)

Lieder, Michael D. (District of Columbia)

Schaefer, Lawrence P. (Minnesota)

Sprenger, Paul (District of Columbia)

Stokes, Susan E. (Minnesota)

Stratton, Lisa C (Minnesota)

Thompson, Mara R (Minnesota)

Judge(s)

Boylan, Arthur J. (Minnesota)

Frank, Donovan W. (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Boler, Jean M. (Washington)

Lang, Jane (District of Columbia)

Lieder, Michael D. (District of Columbia)

Schaefer, Lawrence P. (Minnesota)

Sprenger, Paul (District of Columbia)

Stokes, Susan E. (Minnesota)

Stratton, Lisa C (Minnesota)

Thompson, Mara R (Minnesota)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Engdahl, Kathryn M (Minnesota)

Goldstein, David J. (Minnesota)

Howard, Connie L. (Minnesota)

Leifer, Elihu (District of Columbia)

Leske, Corina L. (New York)

Lowy, Susanna M (New York)

Robbins, Howard Z. (New York)

Samples, James McClellan (Minnesota)

Stracher, Cameron A. (District of Columbia)

Stumo, Mary E. (Minnesota)

Will, Jennifer L Hakin (Minnesota)

Zimmerman, Lloyd B. (Minnesota)

Other Attorney(s)

Culberth, Celeste E. (Minnesota)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

May 26, 2005 Docket
345

Order Granting Class Certification, Denying Defendant's Motion for Summary Judgment

Beckmann v. CBS, Inc.

192 F.R.D. 608, 2000 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 7034

March 31, 2000 Order/Opinion
361

Order for Preliminary Approval of Consent Decree

Nov. 17, 2000 Order/Opinion
375

Order for Final Approval of Consent Decree

Jan. 22, 2001 Order/Opinion

Docket

Last updated May 13, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Minnesota

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study

Private Employment Class Actions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 12, 1996

Closing Date: 2001

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Female CBS technical employees for the time period of October 6, 1993 to present who have been, continue to be, or may in the future be discriminated against because of their sex with respect to assignments, promotion, training or overtime.

Public Interest Lawyer: No

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

CBS, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Mixed

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $8,100,000.00

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements

Provide antidiscrimination training

Reporting

Monitor/Master

Monitoring

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Pattern or Practice

Discrimination-area:

Discipline

Harassment / Hostile Work Environment

Hiring

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

Pay / Benefits

Promotion

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female