Case: Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc.

1:99-cv-06443 | U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California

Filed Date: Oct. 1, 1999

Closed Date: 2011

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On October 1, 1999, twenty-five Latina and Southeast Asian female immigrants once employed as factory workers by NIBCO, Inc. in Fresno, California brought suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California alleging national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") Cal. Gov't Code § 12940, et. seq. Plaintiffs specifically allege that thei…

On October 1, 1999, twenty-five Latina and Southeast Asian female immigrants once employed as factory workers by NIBCO, Inc. in Fresno, California brought suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of California alleging national origin discrimination under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 ("Title VII"), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA") Cal. Gov't Code § 12940, et. seq. Plaintiffs specifically allege that their former employer used a written English proficiency test, which had nothing to do with their job duties, to terminate their employment. Plaintiffs were represented by a coalition of civil rights organizations and private law firms, which included the Employment Law Center - Legal Aid Society of San Francisco, the ACLU of Northern California, the National Immigration Law Center, and the Asian Law Caucus. They sought reinstatement or front pay, backpay, compensatory and punitive damages, and injunctive relief.

During discovery, defendants deposed the lead plaintiff Martha Rivera and asked about her immigration status and employment history. Plaintiffs' counsel instructed her not to answer further questions, terminated her deposition, and sought a protective order from the Court. Plaintiffs maintained that the information was irrelevant and its disclosure during the discovery process would chill the plaintiffs' willingness and ability to bring civil rights claims, as they would potentially face removal proceedings if they were found to be undocumented workers. The District Court (Magistrate Judge Sandra Snyder) granted relief to plaintiffs and issued a protective order prohibiting NIBCO from inquiring into the plaintiffs' immigration status and eligibility for employment. The court permitted defendants to ask other indirect questions relating to place of marriage, educational background, current and past employment, but defendants were not allowed to disclose that information to third parties outside of the lawsuit. Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 204 F.R.D. 647 (E.D. Cal. 2001), reconsideration denied, 2001 WL 1688880 (E.D. Cal. Dec. 21, 2001).

In the interim, the Supreme Court decided Hoffman Plastic Compounds, Inc. v. NLRB, 535 U.S. 137 (2002), holding that the National Labor Relations Board lacked the discretion to award backpay to undocumented workers for violations of the National Labor Relations Act. Defendants filed a supplemental motion for reconsideration based on the Hoffman decision. The District Court then certified the case to allow defendants to pursue an interlocutory appeal.

The United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed. While the Court did not decide whether the Hoffman case applied to Title VII claims, it found that the decision did not make immigration status relevant to a finding that an employer engaged in national origin discrimination under Title VII, and therefore the trial court did not abuse its discretion by entering the protective order. Rivera v. NIBCO, 364 F.3d 1057 (9th Cir. 2004). Defendants' petitions for rehearing and rehearing en banc were denied, Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 384 F.3d 822 (9th Cir. 2004), as was their petition for a writ of certiorari. NIBCO, Inc. v. Rivera, 544 U.S. 905 (2005).

On remand, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. They also argued over how the case should be presented to a jury. Plaintiffs agreed that any of the plaintiffs who were not legally entitled to work would not seek backpay. In order to comply with the protective order, plaintiffs moved for a bifurcated trial, such that the Court would decide which plaintiffs were entitled to backpay by reviewing evidence in camera. Over the objection of defendants, the Court issued an order bifurcating the trial. Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc., 2006 WL 845925 (E.D. Cal. Mar. 31, 2006).

A jury trial began on October 8, 2008 before District Judge Oliver W. Wanger. On November 26, 2008, following twenty-seven days of trial, the jury returned a verdict for the defendants on all counts against all plaintiffs. Plaintiffs appealed the judgment.

On March 29, 2010, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded the case for a new trial. A divided panel held that the District Court had clearly erred in denying plaintiffs' Batson challenge to defendants' use of three of its four peremptory strikes to remove Hispanic jurors. Rivera v. Nibco, Inc., 372 F. App'x 757 (9th Cir. 2010), cert. denied, 131 S. Ct. 906 (2011).

On September 27, 2011, the parties notified the court that they were close to a settlement. On December 6, 2011, a settlement conference was held before Magistrate Judge Snyder. The minute entry notes that a written settlement had been completed, and that "settlement funds [were] to be transmitted soon." The specifics of the settlement agreement do not appear to have been filed with the court. On December 7, 2011, the parties stipulated that the action be dismissed with prejudice; the stipulation was entered the same day.

Summary Authors

Dan Dalton (12/3/2007)

Tania Morris Diaz (11/5/2014)

Dan Whitman (3/6/2015)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5683564/parties/rivera-v-nibco-inc/


Judge(s)

Hawkins, Michael Daly (Arizona)

Ishii, Anthony W. (California)

O'Neill, Lawrence Joseph (California)

Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (California)

Siler, Eugene Edward Jr. (Kentucky)

Snyder, Christina A. (California)

Wanger, Oliver Winston (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chang, Joannie C. (California)

Chen, Edward Milton (California)

Duarte, Lisa (California)

Judge(s)

Hawkins, Michael Daly (Arizona)

Ishii, Anthony W. (California)

O'Neill, Lawrence Joseph (California)

Reinhardt, Stephen Roy (California)

Siler, Eugene Edward Jr. (Kentucky)

Snyder, Christina A. (California)

Wanger, Oliver Winston (California)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Chang, Joannie C. (California)

Chen, Edward Milton (California)

Duarte, Lisa (California)

Fernandez, Donya (California)

Figueira-McDonough, Julia (California)

Hincapie, Marielena (California)

Ho, Christopher (California)

Nguyen, Willie N. (California)

Richtel, Melvin M. (California)

Schlosser, Alan Lawrence (California)

Smith, William J. (California)

Srikantiah, Jayashri (California)

Yamauchi, Brad (California)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Enos, Brian (California)

Hahesy, William (California)

Hedgpeth-Harris, Sara (California)

Helsley, Michael S. (California)

Kinsey, John P. (California)

Sagaser, Howard A. (California)

Wolfe, Sarah (California)

Other Attorney(s)

Cummins, Brendan D. (Minnesota)

Gilmore, David Malcolm (California)

Sugimori, Amy (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Rivera v. Nibco Inc.

Dec. 7, 2011 Docket
34

Memorandum Of Points And Authorities In Support Of Plaintiffs’ Motion For Protective Order Re Conduct Of Defendants’ Depositions Of Plaintiffs

Rivera v. NIBCO, Inc.,

May 21, 2001 Pleading / Motion / Brief
39

Plaintiffs’ Reply Brief In Support Of Motion For Protective Order Re Conduct Of Defendants’ Depositions Of Plaintiffs

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

June 4, 2001 Pleading / Motion / Brief
42

Order Granting Plaintiff's Motion for Protective Order

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

204 F.R.D. 647

June 18, 2001 Order/Opinion
51

Plaintiffs’ Opposition To Defendants’ Request For Reconsideration By The District Court Of Magistrate Judge’s Ruling

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

July 3, 2001 Pleading / Motion / Brief
65

Plaintiffs’ Supplemental Brief In Opposition To Defendants’ Request For Reconsideration

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

Nov. 13, 2001 Pleading / Motion / Brief
71

Opinion

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

2001 WL 1688880, 2001 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 22261

Dec. 21, 2001 Order/Opinion
78

Order [RE: Resolution of Discovery Dispute]

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

Jan. 25, 2002 Order/Opinion
96

Plaintiffs’ Brief In Opposition To Defendants’ Motion For Reconsideration Of Protective Order, To Open Discovery And To Extend Trial Date

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

April 17, 2002 Pleading / Motion / Brief

Opinion

Rivera v. Nibco, Inc.

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit

364 F.3d 1057

April 13, 2004 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/5683564/rivera-v-nibco-inc/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
258

STIPULATION and ORDER GRANTING the continuance of various pretrial dates;order signed by Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 6/21/05. (Rooney, M)

June 23, 2005 RECAP
268

STIPULATION Between Plaintiffs and Defendant NIBCO to File Declaration of William C. Hahesy in Opposition to Plaintiffs' Motion for Separate Trial on Plaintiffs' Claims for Backpay Under Seal - GRANTED. The Clerk of the Court shall file said Declaration under seal and remain so until further order of this Court. Signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 7/25/05. (Hellings, J)

July 28, 2005 RECAP
273

ORDER vacating hearing of August 8, 2005 and resetting hearing on motionre Backpay to October 17, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 08/05/05. (Nazaroff, H)

Aug. 8, 2005 RECAP
274

STIPULATION and ORDER re: Schedule for dispositive motions. Dispositive Motion due by 9/26/2005. Opposition due by 10/21/2005. Replies due by 11/04/05. In Court Hearing set for 11/21/2005 at 01:30 PM in Courtroom 3 (AWI) before Judge Anthony W. Ishii signed by Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 08/18/05. (Lundstrom, T)

Aug. 19, 2005 RECAP
282

STIPULATION and ORDER to file documents under seal. Signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 9/26/05. (Robles, S)

Sept. 27, 2005 RECAP
284

AMENDED STIPULATION and ORDER to file documents under seal signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 09/27/05. (Lundstrom, T)

Sept. 28, 2005 RECAP
288

ORDER vacating the hearing date of October 17, 2005 and continuing the matter to November 21, 2005 at 1:30 p.m. signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 09/29/05. (Nazaroff, H) Modified on 9/30/2005 (Nazaroff, H).

Sept. 30, 2005 RECAP
289

ORDER granting plaintiff's application for late filing signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 09/30/2005. (Nazaroff, H)

Sept. 30, 2005 RECAP
317

STIPULATION to Extend Scheduling Conference Expert Disclosure Dates and ORDER Thereon. signed by Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 10/6/2005. (Please refer to the Order for dates).(Herman, H)

Oct. 11, 2005 RECAP
320

STIPULATION AND ORDER re cross motions for summary judgment signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 10/18/05. (Keeler, P)

Oct. 19, 2005 RECAP
321

STIPULATION and ORDER re-setting filings: opposition briefs re cross-motions for summary judgment set for 10/28/05; reply briefs due 11/18/05; hearing on cross-motions set for 12/5/05; expert disclosure re backpay reset for 12/5/05; expert disclosure re initial damabes re-set for 10/24/05; supplemental damages disclosure re-set for 11/14/05. Signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 10/18/05. (Keeler, P)

Oct. 19, 2005 RECAP
328

ORDER granting request to file documents under seal. signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 10/28/05. (Nazaroff, H)

Oct. 28, 2005 RECAP
367

STIPULATION re DISCOVERY and ORDER thereon signed by Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 11/4/2005. (Herman, H)

Nov. 8, 2005 RECAP
369

STIPULATION AND ORDER allowing filing under seal. signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 11/18/05. (Nazaroff, H)

Nov. 18, 2005 RECAP
377

STIPULATION and ORDER ORDERING that the documents identified in Exhibit "B" may be filed by defendant NIBCO in support of its opposition to plaintiff's pending motion for summary judgment and the documents identified in Exhibit "C" may be filed by plaintiffs in opposition to defendant's pending motion for summary judgment UNDER SEAL and to remain so until further order of the court; order signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 11/16/05. (Rooney, M)

Nov. 21, 2005 RECAP
383

ORDER vacating hearing date of December 5, 2005 and resetting hearing date for December 19, 2005 at 2:30 p.m. in courtroom #3. Also resetting pretrial and other filing dates. signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 11/30/05. (Nazaroff, H)

Nov. 30, 2005 RECAP
411

ORDER VACATING hearing date of 12/19/05, Trial date of 2/14/06 and associated trial dates. All matters scheduled for hearing on 12/19/05, will now be heard on 1/17/06 at 2:00 p.m. before District Judge Anthony W. Ishii signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 12/15/05. (Alvarez, A)

Dec. 15, 2005 RECAP
412

ORDER re 409 Notice, Attorney Lisa R. Duarte terminated, named counsel Brad Yamauchi will continue to represent plaintiffs, signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 12/16/2005. (Nova, J)

Dec. 19, 2005 RECAP
414

ORDER continuing hearing date of 1/17/06 to 1/23/06 signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 1/9/06. (Nazaroff, H)

Jan. 10, 2006 RECAP
422

DISCOVERY ORDER Pursuant to Stipulation re: Special Interrogatory, Set Four, No. 151 367 , signed by Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 3/30/2006. (Herman, H)

March 31, 2006 RECAP
423

ORDER granting 259 Motion to Bifurcate signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 03/31/06. (Nazaroff, H)

March 31, 2006 RECAP
428

ORDER GRANTING 427 MOTION to WITHDRAW as ATTORNEY Brad Yamauchi as Plaintiff's Counsel filed by Martha Rivera. Brad Yamauchi terminated signed by Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 12/22/06. (Kusamura, W)

Dec. 22, 2006 RECAP
439

ORDER ON 438 STIPULATION Between Parties Regarding Trial and Pretrial Conference signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 10/09/2007. Pretrial Conference scheduled for 08/11/2008; Motions in Limine concerning the liability phase shall be filed by 08/15/2008- Hearing to be conducted on 09/19/2008 at 9:00 AM in Courtroom 2 (AWI) before Judge Ishii; Trial set for 10/7/2008 at 09:00 AM in Courtroom 2 (AWI) before Judge Ishii. (Arellano, S.)

Oct. 11, 2007 RECAP
442

ORDER Reassigning this action to Senior District Judge Oliver W. Wanger, signed by Judge Anthony W. Ishii on 06/24/2008. (Martin, S)

June 25, 2008 RECAP
493

ORDER to Supplement Plaintiff's Witness List in Pretrial Order signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 08/22/2008. (Kusamura, W)

Aug. 22, 2008 RECAP
498

ORDER re requirements in Section XIV B of Pretrial Conference Order; order signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 8/28/2008. (Rooney, M)

Aug. 29, 2008 RECAP
500

Ex Parte Application to Court for Leave to File Opposition Brief not to Exceed 35 Pages to Plaintiffs' Motion to Exclude Testimony of Dr. Gerald Barrett; Declaration of William C. Hahesy and ORDER Thereon signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 9/2/08. (Verduzco, M)

Sept. 5, 2008 RECAP
582

ORDER granting ex parte application for order shortening time. Defendant's Motion to Quash Subpoena is set for 10/3/2008 at 10:00 AM in Courtroom 3 (OWW) before Judge Oliver W. Wanger. Defendant's moving papers shall be filed and served on all parties by 9/29/2008. Any opposition to the motion shall be filed by noon, 10/2/2008. Order signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 9/29/2008. (Timken, A)

Sept. 30, 2008 RECAP
609

STIPULATION and ORDER Re Subpoena to Thomas Eisele, signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 10/1/08: Said subpoena is withdrawn and Mr. Eisele will not be called as a witness at the trial; Defendant Nibco, Inc. stipulates that Mr. Eisele's signature is set forth on the document referenced in the paragraph below; and Defendant Nibco, Inc. agrees not to assert any foundational objections to the May 18, 1999 letter to Ms. Deborah Randall, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, San Francisco District Office, San Francisco, CA (Bates 005310-005332 and attachments). Defendant Nibco, Inc. reserves all other rights to object to the admission of the letter.(Hellings, J)

Oct. 6, 2008 RECAP
614

Amended ORDER re subpoenas to appear at trial signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 10/6/2008. (Timken, A)

Oct. 6, 2008 RECAP
623

ORDER Re Defendant Nibco, Inc.'s Motions in Limine 449 , 450 , 451 , 452 , 453 , 454 , 455 , 456 , 457 , 458 , 459 , 460 , 461 , 462 , 463 , 464 , 465 , 466 , 467 , 468 , 469 , and 470 , signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 10/7/08. (Hellings, J)

Oct. 8, 2008 RECAP
634

ORDER Re Plaintiff's Motions in Limine, signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 10/9/08. (Hellings, J)

Oct. 10, 2008 RECAP
670

STIPULATION and ORDER signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 11/12/2008 re filing date of Plaintiffs' EEOC and DFEH Charges. (Lundstrom, T)

Nov. 14, 2008 RECAP
697

STIPULATION And ORDER Re Plaintiffs' National Origins And Primary Languages, signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 11/26/2008. (Scrivner, E)

Dec. 2, 2008 RECAP
698

JUDGMENT in favor of Defendant, against Plaintiffs. (Scrivner, E)

Dec. 2, 2008 RECAP
721

ORDER Granting Ex Parte Motion For Extension Of Time To File Notice Of Appeal 718 , signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 12/24/2008. (Notice of Appeal due by 1/16/2009) (Scrivner, E)

Dec. 24, 2008 RECAP
762

MEMORANDUM DECISION and RE Plaintiffs' Motion for review of Clerk's Taxation of Costs, signed by Judge Oliver W. Wanger on 3/22/2010. (Kusamura, W)

March 23, 2010 RECAP
780

ORDER Regarding Notice of Impending Settlement 779 : All dates vacated including Pretrial Conference of 12/12/2011 and Jury Trial of 2/14/2012 before Judge Wanger. TELEPHONIC STATUS CONFERENCE re Settlement set for 12/6/2011 at 11:00 AM in Courtroom One (SMS) before Magistrate Judge Sandra M. Snyder. signed by Magistrate Judge Sandra M. Snyder on 9/28/2011. (Herman, H)

Sept. 28, 2011 RECAP
793

ORDER on STIPULATION, Dismissal of Action With Prejudice, signed by District Judge Lawrence J. O'Neill on 12/7/11. CASE CLOSED. (Gonzalez, R)

Dec. 7, 2011 RECAP

State / Territory: California

Case Type(s):

Immigration and/or the Border

Key Dates

Filing Date: Oct. 1, 1999

Closing Date: 2011

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Twenty-five Latina and Southeast Asian female immigrants once employed as factory workers by NIBCO, Inc. who were fired for failing a written English proficiency test.

Plaintiff Type(s):

Private Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

ACLU National Prison Project

ACLU of Northern California

Legal Services/Legal Aid

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

NIBCO, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

State law

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Private Settlement Agreement

Amount Defendant Pays: unknown

Issues

Discrimination-basis:

Language discrimination

National origin discrimination

Race:

Asian/Pacific Islander

Affected Gender:

Female

Immigration/Border:

Employment

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Hispanic