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United States District Court for the Western District of Washington
January 21, 2016, Decided; January 21, 2016, Filed
CASE NO. C14-1414 JCC
ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR CLASS CERTIFICATION
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiffs' Motion to Certify the Class (Dkt. No. 24). Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby GRANTS the motion for the reasons explained herein. The Court also GRANTS Plaintiffs' request to bifurcate trial, and ORDERS additional briefing on the specifics of how trial shall be bifurcated.
Defendant Traylor Bros., Inc. is a civil contractor; co-defendant Traylor Bros., Inc./Frontier-Kemper Joint Venture ("TFK") was the prime contractor for the Sound Transit "University [*2] Link" light-rail project. (Dkt. No. 55 at 1.) This was known as the "U220 Project," and involved the construction of two twin-bored tunnels running between planned transit stations at the University of Washington and Capitol Hill. (Id. at 2.) An unrelated contractor, Jay Dee/Coluccio/Michels Joint Venture ("JCM"), was responsible for a related tunneling project, known as the "U230 Project." (Dkt. No. 53 at 2.) Sound Transit required TFK to staff the U220 Project with workers from local labor unions. (Dkt. No. 53 at 8.) At least one of these unions, Laborer's Local 440 ("Local 440"), dispatched workers to both the TFK and JCM sites. (Dkt. No. 26 at 5.) The U220 Project began in June of 2009 and was completed in August of 2013. (Dkt. No. 53 at 4.)
In response to "allegations of discrimination and harassment" made by black laborers regarding TFK during the U220 Project, Sound Transit hired Marcella Flemming Reed to investigate the matter. (Dkt. No. 25-1 at 11.) Reed ultimately determined that TFK personnel's subjective decisionmaking had a disparate impact on black laborers. (Id. at 15-16.)1 As part of Reed's report, Dr. Nayak L. Polissar, an independent statistician, analyzed data provided by Sound Transit [*3] on hours worked by laborers dispatched to the TFK and JCM sites. (Id. at 16.) Polissar found that black laborers dispatched to the TFK site had an approximately threefold higher risk of not being hired or of being terminated after hiring than white laborers. (Id.) According to Polissar, this disparity was very unlikely to have occurred by chance. (Id.) In comparison, Polissar found that there was not a statistically significant difference for either of these risks between black and white laborers at the JCM site. (Id.) Polissar also found that, on average, white and Hispanic laborers worked twice as many hours a week as black laborers at the TFK site; whereas there were no statistically significant differences in work hours between ethnic groups at the JCM site. (Id.) After considering TFK's response, the Sound Transit Board accepted Reed's conclusions and required TFK to comply with an "Action Plan" addressing these issues. (Dkt. No. 25-6 at 40-47.)
The Named Plaintiffs in this matter were each dispatched to the TFK site. (Dkt. No. 36 at 8.) They allege that Defendants engaged in unlawful discrimination against laborers perceived to be of African descent ("black laborers"), and employed policies and practices that disparately impacted this class. (Dkt. No. 6 at 10.) Plaintiffs assert claims under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 1981 of the Civil Rights Act of 1866, and the Washington Law Against Discrimination. (Id.) Plaintiffs now request class certification under Fed. R. Civ. P. 23.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7294 *; 2016 WL 258523
LEONARD ROLLINS, et al., Plaintiffs, v. TRAYLOR BROS., INC., et al., Defendants.
Subsequent History: Class certification denied by, On reconsideration by Rollins v. Traylor Bros, Inc., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 144992 (W.D. Wash., May 3, 2016)
Motion granted by, Motion denied by Rollins v. Traylor Bros., 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 107791 (W.D. Wash., Aug. 15, 2016)
Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part, Motion granted by, Sanctions disallowed by Rollins v. Traylor Bros., Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69211 (W.D. Wash., May 5, 2017)
Motion granted by, in part Rollins v. Traylor Bros., Inc., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76704 (W.D. Wash., May 19, 2017)
Motion granted by, in part, Motion denied by, in part, Motion granted by Rollins v. Traylor Bros., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92424 (W.D. Wash., June 15, 2017)
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