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United States District Court for the District of Columbia
December 20, 2004, Decided
Civil Action No. 01-0510 (ESH)
[*5] MEMORANDUM OPINION
This is a class action alleging race discrimination in employment under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. [**2] ("Title VII"), and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Plaintiffs claim that defendant's promotion practices throughout the company are discriminatory insofar as they relate to managerial [*6] positions at or above the level of an above-the-unit manager. Plaintiffs rely on both disparate treatment and disparate impact theories. In support of their claim, plaintiffs assert that most of the managerial slots are filled without the jobs ever being posted; when jobs are posted, preselection occurs that disadvantages African Americans because the decision-makers are primarily white; and that when there is competition for a managerial position, these decision-makers have unfettered discretion in making their decision because they are not given job-related or objective criteria, and there is no required documentation explaining their reasons, thereby rendering them unreviewable.
In McReynolds v. Sodexho, 208 F.R.D. 428 (D.D.C. 2002), this Court certified a class pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 23(b)(2) for liability purposes only. 1 [**4] After defendant failed to gain review of this decision by means of an interlocutory appeal (petition for leave to appeal denied, [**3] 2003 U.S. App. LEXIS 3496, No. 02-8008 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 25, 2003), cert. denied, 540 U.S. 818, 157 L. Ed. 2d 36, 124 S. Ct. 84 (2003)), the parties engaged in almost two years of heated discovery, involving the well-known phenomenon of "statistical dueling" between two highly-paid experts, both of whom produced a continuing series of reports modifying, correcting or refining their statistical analyses. 208 F.R.D. at 434 (internal quotation marks omitted). This lengthy and often contentious process has now culminated in defendant's filing of three motions seeking dismissal of plaintiffs' case: (1) a motion for summary judgment; (2) a motion to decertify the class; and (3) a motion to exclude plaintiffs' expert under Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469, 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993). 2
In its motion for summary judgment, defendant raises three main challenges to plaintiffs' case. First, with respect to the disparate treatment claim, it contends that plaintiffs have failed to make a prima facie case of a pattern [**5] or practice of company-wide discrimination with respect to promotions. In this regard, Sodexho asserts that the only proper mode of analysis, as both a factual and legal matter, is to disaggregate to the "RVP" (Regional Vice President) level. Defendant therefore argues that plaintiffs' aggregated statistics must be rejected because statistically significant results occurred in only 9 of 155 [*7] purported RVPs. (Def.'s Mot. at 2.) Defendant also challenges plaintiffs' nonstatistical evidence as being too limited and therefore not probative of company-wide discrimination. ( Id. )
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
349 F. Supp. 2d 1 *; 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25516 **
CYNTHIA CARTER MCREYNOLDS, et al., Plaintiffs, SODEXHO MARRIOTT SERVICES, INC., Defendant.
Prior History: McReynolds v. Sodexho Marriott Servs., 349 F. Supp. 2d 30, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25488 (D.D.C., Dec. 20, 2004)
Disposition: Defendant's motion for summary judgment was denied except disparate impact claim was dismissed with prejudice. Defendant's Daubert motion was denied.
promotion, statistical, plaintiffs', variables, disparity, regression, analyses, statistically significant, disparate impact, employees, pools, disparate treatment, prima facie case, aggregation, disaggregated, statistical evidence, decisions, discriminatory, Rebuttal, decl, summary judgment, company-wide, interview, occupation, standard deviation, demonstrates, methodology, depending, cases, prima facie
Civil Rights Law, Contractual Relations & Housing, Equal Rights Under the Law (sec. 1981), Proof of Discrimination, Labor & Employment Law, Disparate Impact, Statutory Application, Reconstruction Statutes (secs. 1981, 1983 & 1985), Discrimination, Reconstruction Statutes, Disparate Treatment, Evidence, Burdens of Proof, General Overview, Employment Practices, Pattern & Practice, Evidence, Inferences & Presumptions, Inferences, Actionable Discrimination, Burdens of Proof, Burden Shifting, Burdens of Production, Civil Procedure, Trials, Jury Trials, Province of Court & Jury, Testimony, Expert Witnesses, Governments, Courts, Judicial Precedent, Selection Procedures, Neutral Factors, Title VII Discrimination, Summary Judgment, Entitlement as Matter of Law, Scope & Definitions, Defenses, Business Necessity & Job Relatedness, Class Actions, Statistical Evidence, Amendments