Case: Colindres v. Quietflex Manufacturing

4:01-cv-04319 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas

Filed Date: Oct. 10, 2001

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 10, 2001, a group of Latino workers filed a lawsuit under of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. against Quietflex Manufacturing Co., in the United States District Court of the Western District of Texas, though it was subsequently transferred to the Southern District. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and eventually the EEOC, asked the Court for injunctive and declaratory relief, …

On October 10, 2001, a group of Latino workers filed a lawsuit under of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e et seq., and 42 U.S.C. § 1981 and the Fair Labor Standards Act ("FLSA"), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq. against Quietflex Manufacturing Co., in the United States District Court of the Western District of Texas, though it was subsequently transferred to the Southern District. The plaintiffs, represented by private counsel and eventually the EEOC, asked the Court for injunctive and declaratory relief, as well as back pay and punitive damages alleging that Quietflex discriminated against them on the basis of national origin. 3690215 WL 1 (S.D. Tex. 2004). Specifically, the plaintiffs contended that they were discriminated in pay and work conditions based on their national origin and also that they were fired on January 10, 2002, in retaliation for a work stoppage they staged to protest discrimination against Latino employees. 3690215 WL 2 (S.D. Tex. 2004).

The litigation arose from allegations that the company used departmental segregation that kept most Latinos confined to one department , even when they requested transfer. The "Latino department" was department 911, and the "Vietnamese department" was 910. While the defendant claimed there was no racial segregation, the workers of department 911 allegedly received lower wages than workers in Department 910; had more physically demanding and dangerous jobs; worked more hours to meet their minimum production quotas; were provided inadequate safety equipment; were more frequently injured; and were required to perform menial tasks, such as cleaning the lunchroom and the bathroom, without compensation. The plaintiffs asserted that defendants "regularly and purposefully asserted a requirement of English language fluency to deny Latinos transfer to more desirable departments, including 910, and yet, defendants did not impose an English language fluency requirement on similarly situated non-Latino employees who do not speak or read English." Not only was their treatment allegedly beyond unfair, but, upon protesting those conditions in a staged walkout, the plaintiffs were fired. 3690215 WL 2 (S.D.T.X. 2004). Furthermore, the plaintiffs alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), 29 U.S.C. § 201 et seq., on the ground that they were regularly required to work in excess of 40 hours per week, but were not paid for such overtime work. 3690215 WL 3 (S.D. Tex. 2004).

On February 26, 2002, the court (Judge Rosenthal) consolidated the case with another civil action No. H-01-4323, Jose P. Aleman, et al. v. Quietflex Manufacturing Co., L.P., et al, a class action arising out of the same facts. 3690215 WL 3 (S.D. Tex. 2004).

On December 4, 2004, the Court (Judge Rosenthal) granted the EEOC's motion to intervene. The EEOC sought a permanent injunction against Quietflex prohibiting it from engaging in employment practices that discriminate on the basis of national origin. The EEOC also asks the Court to order back wages plus interest, compensatory damages, and punitive damages for the plaintiffs. According to the EEOC press release, the EEOC only filed suit after investigating the case, finding discrimination, and exhausting its conciliation efforts to reach a voluntary pre-litigation settlement.

On January 6, 2003, all other counsel withdrew, and the plaintiffs were represented solely by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, Inc.

On March 31, 2006, the court (Judge Rosenthal) denied the plaintiffs motion for class certification. The basis of the decision was due to the representative plaintiffs of the proposed class asking the court to disregard the claims for compensatory damages on a class wide-basis. This move was designed to improve the likelihood of certification, but ended up being the reason the court denied the motion. The court stated that the decision to drop the monetary damages claim cannot be imposed upon the absent class members without raising a very serious conflict of interest. Therefore, he court then ordered the two parties into mediation. 235 F.R.D. 383 (S.D. Tex. 2006).

On January 22, 2007, the court signed and ordered the proposed consent decree. The settlement gave $2.8 million to the 78 person group of plaintiffs. It also forced the company to implement policies and practices that advance equal opportunity employment. The case was closed, but reopened when plaintiffs filed a motion to enforce consent decree.

On October 20, 2009, the Court ordered that one section of the consent decree was to remain in effect until March 21, 2010. Parties had until April 5, 2010, to move for further modification, but no such motions were made, and there has been no further action in the case.

Summary Authors

Matthew Aibel (11/6/2010)

Ian Sander (10/30/2016)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5167041/parties/colindres-v-quietflex-manufactur/


Judge(s)

Rosenthal, Lee Hyman (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bernal, Diego Manuel (Texas)

Hinojosa, David G. (Texas)

Kahne, David Alfred (Texas)

Kauffman, Albert H. (Texas)

Perales, Nina (Texas)

Perez, Marisol Linda (Texas)

Saucedo, Leticia M. (Texas)

Urias, David Herrera (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Birenbaum, Kate Lesley (Texas)

Judge(s)

Rosenthal, Lee Hyman (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bernal, Diego Manuel (Texas)

Hinojosa, David G. (Texas)

Kahne, David Alfred (Texas)

Kauffman, Albert H. (Texas)

Perales, Nina (Texas)

Perez, Marisol Linda (Texas)

Saucedo, Leticia M. (Texas)

Urias, David Herrera (Texas)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Birenbaum, Kate Lesley (Texas)

Collins, John L. (Texas)

Dobrowski, Paul J (Texas)

Garcia, Christopher A. (Illinois)

Hammett, J. Richard (Texas)

Maatman, Gerald L Jr. (Illinois)

McAlpine, Fraser A. (Texas)

Oberti, Mark Joseph (Texas)

Sullivan, Edwin (Texas)

Other Attorney(s)

Bowne, Timothy M. (Texas)

Expert/Monitor/Master

Hughes, Hunter R. III (Georgia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

4:01-cv-04319

Docket

Oct. 20, 2009

Oct. 20, 2009

Docket

EEOC Press Release: "EEOC Moves to Intervene in Quietflex Lawsuit"

No Court

Sept. 26, 2002

Sept. 26, 2002

Press Release
57

4:01-cv-04319

4:01-04323

Memorandum and Opinion [Regarding EEOC's Motion to Intervene]

Dec. 4, 2002

Dec. 4, 2002

Order/Opinion
233

4:01-cv-04319

Memorandum and Order [Regarding Defendants' Motion for a Protective Order]

228 F.R.D. 567, 2005 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 15062

May 26, 2005

May 26, 2005

Order/Opinion

4:01-cv-04319

4:01-04323

Order denying summary judgment and class certification

235 F.R.D. 347, 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 19781

March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006

Order/Opinion
301

4:01-cv-04319

4:01-04323

Order denying cross-motions for summary judgment

427 F.Supp.2d 737

March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006

Order/Opinion
321

4:01-cv-04319

4:01-04323

Approved Consent Decree

EEOC v. Quietflex Manufacturing

Jan. 22, 2007

Jan. 22, 2007

Settlement Agreement

EEOC Press Release: "EEOC, Quietflex Manufacturing Company, L.P., and Others Announce Final Approval of Settlement with Hispanic Employees on Discrimination Claims"

EEOC v. Quietflex Manufacturing

No Court

Jan. 24, 2007

Jan. 24, 2007

Press Release

EEOC Performance and Accountability Report

No Court

Jan. 15, 2008

Jan. 15, 2008

Press Release
364

4:01-cv-04319

ORDER

Oct. 20, 2009

Oct. 20, 2009

Order/Opinion

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5167041/colindres-v-quietflex-manufactur/

Last updated Aug. 1, 2022, 3:15 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
233

MEMORANDUM AND ORDER entered DENYING Defendants 229 MOTION for Protective Order. Defendants will produce the email to Plaintiffs by May 27, 2005. Briefing due by June 6, 2005.( Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal ) Parties notified.(leddins, )

May 26, 2005

May 26, 2005

RECAP

Case assigned to Honorable Edward C. Prado (ct) (Entered: 10/11/2001)

Oct. 10, 2001

Oct. 10, 2001

Summons issued for Quietflex Manufacturing Co., LP; Quietflex Holding Co.; Goodman Manufacturing Co., LP, d/b/a Quietflex Manufacturing Co., LP; and Goodman Holding Co. (ct) (Entered: 10/11/2001)

Oct. 10, 2001

Oct. 10, 2001

2

Answer by Quietflex, Quietflex Holding, Goodman Manufactur, Goodman Holding Co. (kc) (Entered: 11/09/2001)

Nov. 8, 2001

Nov. 8, 2001

3

Motion by Quietflex, Quietflex Holding, Goodman Manufactur, Goodman Holding Co. to transfer venue (kc) (Entered: 11/09/2001)

Nov. 8, 2001

Nov. 8, 2001

4

Memorandum by Quietflex, Quietflex Holding, Goodman Manufactur, Goodman Holding Co. in support of motion to transfer venue [3-1] (kc) (Entered: 11/09/2001)

Nov. 8, 2001

Nov. 8, 2001

5

Motion by Goodman Manufactur, Goodman Holding Co. to dismiss for failure to state claim , or, alternatively for partial summary judgment (kc) (Entered: 11/09/2001)

Nov. 8, 2001

Nov. 8, 2001

6

Memorandum by Goodman Manufactur, Goodman Holding Co. in support of motion to dismiss for failure to state claim [5-1], motion for partial summary judgment [5-2] (kc) (Entered: 11/09/2001)

Nov. 8, 2001

Nov. 8, 2001

7

Motion by Quietflex, Quietflex Holding, Goodman Manufactur, Goodman Holding Co. to dismiss for failure to state claim , or alternatively for partial summary judgment regarding plaintiffs' wrongful discharge claim (kc) (Entered: 11/09/2001)

Nov. 8, 2001

Nov. 8, 2001

8

Memorandum by Quietflex, Quietflex Holding, Goodman Manufactur, Goodman Holding Co. in support of motion to dismiss for failure to state claim [7-1], motion for partial summary judgment regarding plaintiffs' wrongful discharge claim [7-2] (kc) (Entered: 11/09/2001)

Nov. 8, 2001

Nov. 8, 2001

9

Return of service executed as to Goodman Manufactur on 10/19/01 by personal service (kc) (Entered: 11/13/2001)

Nov. 9, 2001

Nov. 9, 2001

10

Return of service executed as to Goodman Holding Co. on 10/19/01 by personal service (kc) (Entered: 11/13/2001)

Nov. 9, 2001

Nov. 9, 2001

11

Return of service executed as to Quietflex on 10/19/01 by personal service (kc) (Entered: 11/13/2001)

Nov. 9, 2001

Nov. 9, 2001

12

Return of service executed as to Quietflex Holding on 10/22/01 by personal service (kc) (Entered: 11/13/2001)

Nov. 9, 2001

Nov. 9, 2001

13

Motion by Fermin Colindres, Lazaro Garcia, Ector Lopez, Jose A. Marquez, Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Casanova with memorandum in support for leave to file amended complaint (mj) (Entered: 11/23/2001)

Nov. 21, 2001

Nov. 21, 2001

Received Plaintiffs' First Amended Complaint. (mj) (Entered: 11/23/2001)

Nov. 21, 2001

Nov. 21, 2001

14

Brief filed by Fermin Colindres, Lazaro Garcia, Ector Lopez, Jose A. Marquez, Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Casanova in opposition to Defendants' motion to transfer venue [3-1] (mj) (Entered: 11/23/2001)

Nov. 21, 2001

Nov. 21, 2001

16

Brief by Fermin Colindres, Lazaro Garcia, Ector Lopez, Jose A. Marquez, Fernando Gonzalez, Juan Casanova in opposition to Plaintiffs' motion to dismiss for failure to state claim [7-1], motion for partial summary judgment regarding plaintiffs' wrongful discharge claim [7-2] (mj) (Entered: 11/23/2001)

Nov. 21, 2001

Nov. 21, 2001

17

Order granting motion to transfer venue [3-1] to the Southern District of Texas (kc) (Entered: 11/29/2001)

Nov. 27, 2001

Nov. 27, 2001

Case closed (kc) (Entered: 11/29/2001)

Nov. 27, 2001

Nov. 27, 2001

18

Order transferring case to the Southern District of Texas (kc) (Entered: 11/29/2001)

Nov. 27, 2001

Nov. 27, 2001

Transmitted certified record to Southern District of Texas; Houston Division (kc) (Entered: 12/10/2001)

Dec. 10, 2001

Dec. 10, 2001

300

MEMORANDUM AND OPINION entered GRANTING Defts 244 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment as to Lorenzo Pastrana.( Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal ) Parties notified.(leddins, )

March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006

RECAP
301

MEMORANDUM AND OPINION entered GRANTING 217 MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages, GRANTING 287 Opposed MOTION for Leave to File Motion for Court Order Authorizing Collective Action Under the FLSA, DENYING IN PART AND GRANTING IN PART 246 MOTIO N to Exclude the Report and Testimony of Defendants Expert Raymond Cordelli, DENYING MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment, GRANTING 277 Unopposed MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages, DENYING 293 MOTION to Dismiss Plaintiffs' Motion for C ollective Action (docket entry 288) as Moot, and GRANTING alternative Motion to Extend Response Date for Defendants to Plaintiffs' Motion for Collective Action, DENYING 218 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment.( Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal ) Parties notified.(leddins, )

March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006

RECAP
302

MEMORANDUM AND OPINION entered DENYING 260 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment, GRANTING 295 MOTION for Leave to File Post-Hearing Supplemental Brief, DENYING 240 Opposed MOTION to Strike 236 Response in Opposition to Motion,, DENYING 243 M OTION for Leave to File re-file Section 11.C of defendants' June 6, 2005 brief, GRANTING 205 Joint MOTION TO EXTEND, DENYING 215 MOTION to Dismiss, DENYING 245 MOTION for Summary Judgment, GRANTING 241 Opposed MOTION for Leave to File Su bmit Recently Produced Evidence Relevant to the Issue of Class Certification, GRANTING 208 Opposed MOTION to substitute Named Representatives, GRANTING 299 MOTION to Reopen Discovery MOTION for Leave to File a Supplemental Brief on the Issue of C lass Certification MOTION to Reopen Discovery MOTION for Leave to File a Supplemental Brief on the Issue of Class Certification, GRANTING 259 Opposed MOTION for Leave to File Motion for Partial Summary Judgment and Supplemental Response to Plaintiff s' Motion for Class Certification and DENYING 80 Pltfs motion for class certification.( Signed by Judge Lee H Rosenthal ) A status conference is set for April 14, 2006, at 2:00 p.m. Parties notified.(leddins, ) Modified on 3/31/2006 (leddins, ).

March 31, 2006

March 31, 2006

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Texas

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

EEOC Study — in sample

IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study

Private Employment Class Actions

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 10, 2001

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Latino workers fired after protesting against their former employer for its national origin-based discrimination in pay and working conditions.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

EEOC Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

EEOC

MALDEF

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: Yes

Class Action Outcome: Granted

Defendants

Quietflex Manufacturing (Houston), Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Retailer

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Any published opinion

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: $2,800,000

Order Duration: 2007 - 2010

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Pattern or Practice

Retaliation

Discrimination-area:

Discipline

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

Pay / Benefits

Discrimination-basis:

National origin discrimination

Race discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

Male

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic

Indian