Landmark Settlement in Census Bureau Employment Discrimination Hiring Case Approved
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: September 19th, 2016
A New York federal court has approved the settlement of a landmark class action in which African American and Latino job applicants alleged illegal background check policies and practices at the U.S. Census Bureau denied them access to more than a million temporary jobs for the 2010 decennial census. On September 20, 2016, Magistrate Judge Frank Mass of the Southern District of New York approved Plaintiffs’ proposed nationwide settlement agreement with the Census Bureau in Gonzalez et. al v. Pritzker, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Commerce. After six years of complex litigation, Plaintiffs’ motions for class certification, attorneys’ fees and costs, and $10,000 service awards for each of the class agent plaintiffs, were approved without objection.
The $15 million settlement agreement sets aside $5 million to provide services to Latino and African American class members to receive assistance to clear errors and problems in their arrest background records, or, to receive early notices of U.S. 2020 Census hiring for field enumerators. The award also covers fees for the hiring of industrial occupational experts that will consult with and evaluate the U.S. Census Bureau’s hiring criteria, and, will create a fund for Cornell University to provide assistance to class members opting for assistance in criminal background reviews.
LatinoJustice PRLDEF was among the non-profit co-counsel representing the plaintiffs along with lead counsel from the law firm of Outten & Golden, LLC. For more information about the settlement, go here More information about the lawsuit is available here.