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United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
February 28, 1995, Decided
No. 94-1621, No. 94-1656
[*599] SELYA, Circuit Judge. Labor unions have historically been instruments of solidarity, forged in an ostensible effort to counterbalance the weight of concentrated industrial power. It is, therefore, ironic -- but not unprecedentedly so, inasmuch as "irony is no stranger to the law," Amanullah v. Nelson, 811 F.2d 1, 17 (1st Cir. 1987) -- that unions themselves sometimes engage in exclusionary membership practices. The court below detected such an elitist strain in the operation of the Steamship Clerks Union, Local 1066 (the Union), determining that the Union's policy requiring prospective members to be "sponsored" by existing members -- all of whom, from time immemorial, have been white -- constituted race-based discrimination. See EEOC v. Costello, 850 F. Supp. 74, 77 (D. Mass. 1994).
In this venue, the Union calumnizes both the district court's evaluation of the sponsorship practice and the court's remedial rulings. The Equal Employment [**2] Opportunity Commission (the EEOC), plaintiff below, cross-appeals, likewise voicing dissatisfaction with the court's remedial rulings (albeit for very different reasons). Though we uphold the finding of disparate impact discrimination, we conclude that the lower court acted too rashly in fashioning remedies without pausing to solicit the parties' views. Hence, we affirm in part, vacate in part, and remand for further proceedings.
The relevant facts are not disputed. ] The Union is "a labor organization engaged in an industry affecting commerce," 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(d)-(e) (1988). It has approximately 124 members, 80 of whom are classified as active. The members serve as steamship clerks who, during the loading and unloading of vessels in the port of Boston, check cargo against inventory lists provided by shippers and consignees. The work is not taxing; it requires little in the way of particular skills.
On October 1, 1980, the Union formally adopted the membership sponsorship policy (the MSP) around which this suit revolves. The MSP provided that any applicant for membership in the Union (other than an injured longshoreman) had [**3] to be sponsored by an existing member in order for his application to be considered. The record reveals, without contradiction, that (1) the Union had no African-American or Hispanic members when it adopted the MSP; (2) blacks and Hispanics constituted from 8% to 27% of the relevant labor pool in the Boston area; (3) the Union welcomed at least 30 new members between 1980 and 1986, and then closed the membership rolls; (4) all the "sponsored" applicants during this period and, hence, all the new members, were Caucasian; and (5) every recruit was related to -- usually the son or brother of -- a Union member.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
48 F.3d 594 *; 1995 U.S. App. LEXIS 3887 **; 67 Fair Empl. Prac. Cas. (BNA) 629
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff, Appellee, v. STEAMSHIP CLERKS UNION, LOCAL 1066, Defendant, Appellant. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff, Appellant, v. STEAMSHIP CLERKS UNION, LOCAL 1066, Defendant, Appellee.
Subsequent History: [**1] As Corrected March 10, 1995. Certiorari Denied October 2, 1995, Reported at: 1995 U.S. LEXIS 5396.
Prior History: APPEALS FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. Richard G. Stearns, U.S. District Judge.
disparate impact, prima facie case, district court, statistical, membership, parties, causation, notice, summary judgment, practices, business necessity, remedies, due process, new member, discriminatory, partial summary judgment, statistical evidence, membership policy, circumstances, equitable, steamship, vacate
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