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Easterling v. Connecticut Department of Correction

Topic(s): Class Actions
Workers' Rights
Date Of Involvement: 05/30/2008
Docket: 10-0826, D. Conn

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We were co-counsel in this class action under Title VII that challenged the use of a physical fitness test that had a disparate impact on female applicants for entry-level Correction Officer positions. Connecticut used a 1.5-mile run test as a pass/fail screening device with norm-referenced cut scores that disproportionately eliminated female candidates. We alleged that, because Connecticut cannot demonstrate that the cut scores it used are job related and consistent with business necessity, its manner of use of the test violates Title VII. In early 2010, the court certified the class. On May 5, 2011, the court granted our motion for summary judgment on the issue of liability.

The relief stage resulted in a settlement providing back pay of over $1.8 million and priority hiring with retroactive seniority and pension credit for up to 28 class members.