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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Stender v. Lucky Stores, Inc. EE-CA-0276
Docket / Court 3:88−cv−01467 ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization Impact Fund
Case Summary
On April 22, 1988, employees of Lucky Stores ("Lucky") brought this suit against Lucky and Alpha Beta Co. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs brought this suit on behalf of a class of all female, Black, and Hispanic employees of Lucky, past, present, ... read more >
On April 22, 1988, employees of Lucky Stores ("Lucky") brought this suit against Lucky and Alpha Beta Co. in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. The plaintiffs brought this suit on behalf of a class of all female, Black, and Hispanic employees of Lucky, past, present, and future. Plaintiffs alleged that Lucky discriminated against them on the basis of race, sex, and/or national origin in Lucky's employment practices including initial job assignment, training, and promotions. Represented by both the NAACP Legal Defense Fund (the "Impact Fund") and private counsel, plaintiffs sought monetary and injunctive relief and alleged violations of Title VII, § 1981, and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act ("FEHA"). The case was assigned to Judge Marilyn Patel.

The suit originated from EEOC claims from two employees. Nancy Stender filed a narrow EEOC claim in 1984 regarding the denial of full-time status and promotion. Diane Skillsky's May 1985 EEOC claim contained broader allegations of promotion, training, and job assignments.

On August 18, 1988, the plaintiffs filed their first amended complaint, and on September 18, 1989, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint.

On October 11, 1989, the court approved a stipulation regarding partial class certification. Following this stipulation, issues regarding class certification remained as to whether the plaintiffs could represent those who were discriminated in their initial job assignments and what the proper date was from which Lucky could be held liable for sex discrimination. On June 8, 1990, the court ruled that the plaintiffs could represent individuals who had experienced discrimination in their initial job assignments even though none of the named plaintiffs brought those claims. However, the court denied the plaintiffs' motion to hold Lucky liable for sex discrimination dating back to Stender's claims; rather, the court ruled that the class would represent individuals who experienced sex discrimination beginning from the date that Skillsky filed her EEOC claims. 1990 WL 192734.

We do not have a complete docket for this case, so our account is necessarily incomplete. At some point before January 11, 1991, the defendant moved for partial summary judgment regarding Lucky's promotion practices. On April 4, 1991, the defendant's motion was granted in part and denied in part. Specifically, the court granted the motion as it pertained to Black employees, finding that the plaintiffs did not establish a prima facie case as to either discriminatory impact or treatment, but denied the motion as it dealt with female employees, finding that the plaintiffs did raise a genuine issue of material fact under theories of both disparate treatment and impact. 1991 WL 127073.

On March 28, 1991, the defendant moved to dismiss the plaintiffs' claims pertaining to initial job assignment and promotions under § 1981 and general claims under FEHA. On June 18, 1991, the court denied the defendant's motions in a pair of opinions. Regarding the claims under § 1981, the court held that initial job assignments were related to the making and enforcing of contracts. The court found that promotions were a closer call as to § 1981 liability but that it was possible, after discovery and at trial, that the plaintiffs could make a case that promotions involved a new and distinct relationship so as to hold Lucky liable under § 1981. 1991 WL 350036. Regarding the motion to dismiss claims under the FEHA, the court held that the defendant's interpretation of the FEHA, that the plaintiffs are precluded from bringing duplicative claims in state court or otherwise joining their FEHA claims in federal court, was unreasonable. 766 F.Supp. 830.

On May 10, 1991, a group of employees of Alpha Beta, another chain of stores under the American Stores parent company that owned Lucky, moved to intervene in this case. That group of employees alleged sex and race discrimination and sued on behalf of a class of all female and Black employees of Alpha Beta, past, present, and future. However, on June 10, 1991, those employees initiated their own legal suit, Anders v. American Stores Co.. , 3:91-CV-01763. On June 18, 1991, Judge Patel thus denied the potential plaintiff-intervenors' motion to intervene and instead related their case to this case.

On November 21, 1991, President George H.W. Bush signed the Civil Rights Act of 1991. On December 19, 1991, the court ruled that the newly-enacted Act applied retroactively to pending cases. Thus, the court held that the Act modified the requisite analysis needed to examine disparate treatment and impact claims, such as in the present case. 1991 WL 354882. This opinion was amended on January 7, 1992, to order the parties to submit memoranda concerning the effect of the Act on the present case. 780 F.Supp. 1302.

On September 11, 1991, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' claims of discrimination as they pertained to Black employees, finding that plaintiffs' evidence was insufficient to warrant a finding of a pattern or practice. Additionally, the court dismissed the plaintiffs' claims for punitive damages. As a result of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, however, the court reconsidered their order dismissing those claims. On April 28, 1992, the court declined to reconsider the plaintiffs' claims of discrimination against Black employees under § 1981 as a result of the new Act. The court did tentatively agree to reconsider the plaintiffs' claims for punitive damages under a more expansive Title VII liability. 1992 WL 295957.

On July 27, 1992, the parties issued a joint memorandum indicating that they had come to a preliminary settlement. In it, the parties agreed to allow the intervention of the United Food and Commercial Workers International Union as a non-aligned party because of their relationship with Lucky and because they represent class members. Additionally, the parties agreed to dismiss Alpha Beta as a defendant in the Anders suit subject to Lucky assuming responsibility for any claims asserted against Alpha Beta in this suit. Additionally, the parties agreed to enter into a consent decree that resolved all claims of racial discrimination in both this suit and the Anders case. This consent decree was approved on October 30, 1992. The other stipulations were granted by the court on July 29, 1992.

On August 18, 1992, the court found for the plaintiffs on their claims regarding sex discrimination. The court specifically held that the plaintiffs had shown enough to prevail on their theories of disparate treatment and disparate impact, that they met their burden of proof under the FEHA, and that they had made enough of a case to merit further consideration for punitive damages under Title VII. 803 F.Supp. 259.

On August 31, 1992, the parties entered into another joint stipulation, this time regarding the claims of sex discrimination. This was tentatively approved on September 4 and became effective as a preliminary injunction on October 1. On November 3, 1992, and after resolving outstanding issues in the consent decree, the court approved the parties' consent decree.

However, the parties continued to litigate the issue of backpay. On December 15, 1993, the court ruled that the payments made under the consent decree were excludable from gross income calculations under the Internal Revenue Code. 1993 WL 557652.

On January 11, 1994, the parties submitted a consent decree regarding the sex discrimination claims intended to replace the 1992 consent decree. In it, Lucky agreed to monetary relief and injunctive relief, in the form of promotions, for the named plaintiffs. Additionally, Lucky agreed to abide by requirements in their procedures for initial assignments, allocation of hours, promotions, training, and prohibiting retaliation for various periods of time ranging between five and ten years. Lucky also agreed to an annual reporting requirement regarding its data for job applications, promotions, hours worked, and payroll. In addition, Lucky agreed to pay approximately $60 million to non-representative members, $1 million to the named plaintiffs, $14 million in attorneys' fees, $13 million in front pay, and $20 million to administer the terms of the consent decree. On April 20, 1994, the court approved the consent decree.

The docket states that on July 11, 2000, the remaining terms of the consent decree were modified, but it does not explain how, and no documents are electronically available. There is no subsequent activity on the docket sheet. Presumably the case is over.

Matthew Feng - 06/16/2021

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Preliminary relief granted
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
National Origin/Ethnicity
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
State law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Lucky Stores
Plaintiff Description Employees of Lucky Stores on behalf of a class of all female, Black, and Hispanic past, present, and future employees of Lucky
Indexed Lawyer Organizations Impact Fund
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status outcome Granted
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Preliminary injunction / Temp. restraining order
Attorneys fees
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1994 - 2004
Filed 04/22/1988
Case Closing Year 2004
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing EE-CA-0367 : Anders v. American Stores Co. (N.D. Cal.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
N.D. Cal.
EE-CA-0276-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
N.D. Cal.
Memorandum Order (1990 WL 192734)
EE-CA-0276-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Opinion [ECF# 208] (1991 WL 127073)
EE-CA-0276-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Opinion [ECF# 310] (1991 WL 350036)
EE-CA-0276-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 311] (766 F.Supp. 830)
EE-CA-0276-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 409] (1991 WL 354882)
EE-CA-0276-0006.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Amended Memorandum and Order [ECF# 410] (780 F.Supp. 1302)
EE-CA-0276-0007.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Opinion [ECF# 422] (1992 WL 295957)
EE-CA-0276-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Order [ECF# 478] (803 F.Supp. 259)
EE-CA-0276-0009.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Memorandum and Order [ECF# 685] (1993 WL 557652)
EE-CA-0276-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Source: Westlaw
N.D. Cal.
Consent Decree Regarding Monetary Relief, Injunctive Relief and Notice for Sex Claims
EE-CA-0276-0001.pdf | Detail
show all people docs
Judges Patel, Marilyn Hall (N.D. Cal.) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0276-0002 | EE-CA-0276-0003 | EE-CA-0276-0004 | EE-CA-0276-0005 | EE-CA-0276-0006 | EE-CA-0276-0007 | EE-CA-0276-0008 | EE-CA-0276-0009 | EE-CA-0276-0010 | EE-CA-0276-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Borgen, David (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0276-0001 | EE-CA-0276-9000
Dardarian, Linda M. (California) show/hide docs
Larkin, Jocelyn Dion (California) show/hide docs
Miller, Katharine S (California) show/hide docs
Ryu, Donna Miae (California) show/hide docs
Seligman, Brad (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0276-0001 | EE-CA-0276-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Boddy, James E. Jr. (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0276-0001 | EE-CA-0276-9000
Paras, James C. (California) show/hide docs
Rashby, Carolyn (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0276-0001 | EE-CA-0276-9000
Wilcox, Maurice [Kirby] Collette (California) show/hide docs
EE-CA-0276-0001 | EE-CA-0276-9000
Other Lawyers Jellison, Barry (California) show/hide docs
Kahn, Andrew J. (California) show/hide docs
Stemerman, Steven L. (California) show/hide docs
Walsh, Brian Connor (California) show/hide docs

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