Case: Alexander v. Local 496, Laborers' Intern. Union of North America

1:84-cv-03916 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio

Filed Date: Dec. 20, 1984

Closed Date: 2004

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On December 20, 1984, plaintiffs brought suit in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio alleging violations of Title VII and § 1981 against defendants The Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA) and their Local 496 chapter. The complaint alleges that the defendants were denied membership and employment opportunities based on race (African American.)In 1988 a class was certified consisting of 52 African Americans which was the entirety of all blacks who so…

On December 20, 1984, plaintiffs brought suit in United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio alleging violations of Title VII and § 1981 against defendants The Laborer's International Union of North America (LIUNA) and their Local 496 chapter. The complaint alleges that the defendants were denied membership and employment opportunities based on race (African American.)

In 1988 a class was certified consisting of 52 African Americans which was the entirety of all blacks who sought membership in Local 496 or employment by application or referral by the union at the Perry plant.

On December 10, 1991, after a bench trial on the issue of liability, the United States District Court for the Northern District of Ohio (Judge Krenzler) held that (1) union's membership rule that required that an applicant be working "in the calling" had a disparate impact on black applicants and could not be used to justify the statistical underrepresentation of blacks in the union; (2) the black applicants made a sufficient showing of disparate treatment by the union; and (3) the international union could be held liable for discrimination by the local union, under either an agency theory or under a theory that the international union breached its duty to oppose discriminatory practices of an affiliated local.

The court found that both the Local 496 and LIUNA organizations had engaged in a system that created both disparate impact and treatment in violation of Title VII and § 1981, because even though many of the policies in question were facially neutral, they reinforced past patterns of discrimination.

On May 5, 1996, Judge Avern Cohn signed and entered a settlement, compromise and order whereby Local 496 agreed to pay $100,000 and LIUNA $200,000 and ordered additional damages and injunctive relief. On appeal, the Sixth Circuit upheld the district court's order granting plaintiffs a total of $1.8 million in damages as well as preference in employee referrals.

On October 18, 2004, after years of attempted appeals and other legal wrangling, the Court (Judge Avern Cohn) entered an order approving final distribution of class funds as detailed in a Revised Settlement, Compromise and Order approved May 22, 2002. That document is not available at the time of this writing.

Summary Authors

David Miller (1/3/2011)

People


Judge(s)

Hemann, Patricia A. (Ohio)

Krenzler, Alvin I. (Ohio)

O'Malley, Kathleen McDonald (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Condon, Eric Anthony (Ohio)

Corrigan, James G. (Ohio)

Kramer, Edward G. (Ohio)

Rossman, Alan C. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Belkin, Alan S. (Ohio)

Bernard, Thomas H. (Ohio)

Gallagher, Timothy J. (Ohio)

Judge(s)

Hemann, Patricia A. (Ohio)

Krenzler, Alvin I. (Ohio)

O'Malley, Kathleen McDonald (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Condon, Eric Anthony (Ohio)

Corrigan, James G. (Ohio)

Kramer, Edward G. (Ohio)

Rossman, Alan C. (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Belkin, Alan S. (Ohio)

Bernard, Thomas H. (Ohio)

Gallagher, Timothy J. (Ohio)

Green, Theodore T. (District of Columbia)

McNair, Eben O. IV (Ohio)

Oberdank, Lawrence M. (Georgia)

Porcaro, James G. (Ohio)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Cohn, Avern Levin (Michigan)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

Oct. 18, 2004 Docket
246

Opinion

778 F.Supp. 1401

Dec. 10, 1991 Order/Opinion
663

Order Approving Final Distribution of Class Funds and Assets

Alexander v. Local 496, Laborer's International Union of North America

Oct. 18, 2004 Settlement Agreement

Docket

Last updated May 13, 2022

Docket sheet not available via the Clearinghouse.

State / Territory: Ohio

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Dec. 20, 1984

Closing Date: 2004

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

52 African Americans who had sought membership in Local 496 or employment by application or referral by the union at the Perry plant.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Laborer's International Union of North America (Washington), Private Entity/Person

Local Chapter 496, Laborer's International Union of North America (Lake), Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

42 U.S.C. § 1981

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: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Amount Defendant Pays: $1.8 million

Content of Injunction:

Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

Hiring

Promotion

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

Affected Gender:

Female

Male