Leag. of U. Latin Am. Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, No. CV 74-767-F.

CourtUnited States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
Writing for the CourtFERGUSON
Citation410 F. Supp. 873
PartiesLEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS and Lawrence Felix, Individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs, v. The CITY OF SANTA ANA, a Municipal Corporation, et al., Defendants.
Docket NumberNo. CV 74-767-F.
Decision Date22 March 1976

410 F. Supp. 873

LEAGUE OF UNITED LATIN AMERICAN CITIZENS and Lawrence Felix, Individually, and on behalf of all others similarly situated, Plaintiffs,
v.
The CITY OF SANTA ANA, a Municipal Corporation, et al., Defendants.

No. CV 74-767-F.

United States District Court, C. D. California.

March 12, 1976.

As Amended March 22, 1976.


410 F. Supp. 874
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410 F. Supp. 875
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410 F. Supp. 876
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410 F. Supp. 877
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410 F. Supp. 878
A. Thomas Hunt, Timothy B. Flynn, Carlyle W. Hall, Jr., John R. Phillips, Brent N. Rushforth, Fredric P. Sutherland, Center for Law in the Public Interest, Los Angeles, Cal., Paul Bryan Gray, South El Monte, Cal., for plaintiffs
410 F. Supp. 879

James A. Withers, City Atty., Robert C. Sangster, Richard E. Lay, Deputy City Attys., Santa Ana, Cal., Edward D. Kalman, Boston, Mass., for defendants.

MEMORANDUM OPINION

FERGUSON, District Judge.

Mexican-American individuals comprise 25.8% of the general population of the City of Santa Ana but only 9.2% of the police officers employed by the Santa Ana Police Department and only 4.5% of the firefighters employed by the Santa Ana Fire Department. In an effort to rectify this disparity, plaintiffs Lawrence Felix and the League of United Latin American Citizens ("LULAC") have filed a class action civil rights suit alleging discrimination by the City of Santa Ana and several named city officials in the process by which police officers and firefighters are selected for employment. Specifically the plaintiffs allege discrimination in the recruitment practices, the use of the California Short-Form Test of Mental Maturity, 1963 revision ("Short Form"), the use of the Fire Aptitude Test, Form 45 ("Form 45"), the imposition of a fixed height requirement, and the employment of a high school education or equivalency requirement.

The defendants concede the disparity between Mexican-Americans' representation in the general population and their representation in the police and fire departments, but deny that Santa Ana's general population statistics are an appropriate yardstick for comparison. Instead they offer Orange County labor force statistics as the relevant standard. Moreover, they believe that the hiring procedures they have relied upon, although occasionally flawed, have developed to the point that they might serve as a model for other jurisdictions.

Indeed, Santa Ana has exercised creative leadership in the development of personnel techniques which other jurisdictions would do well to emulate. Moreover, the defendants have exhibited an exemplary commitment to the development of personnel policies which might assure equal opportunity and quality police and fire protection. Nonetheless, although Santa Ana has proceeded in all good faith, the plaintiffs have presented convincing evidence that the recruitment policies and some of Santa Ana's hiring policies improperly operate to exclude Mexican-Americans from positions with the police and fire departments. The plaintiffs have demonstrated that these policies have developed because of a misconception of the requirements of Title VII and the civil rights statutes and a misapplication of the EEOC Guidelines.

As is so often the case in employment discrimination litigation, an orderly examination of the principal issues requires presentation of a complicated factual picture. Many of the facts relevant to the disposition of this lawsuit were stipulated to by the parties; others were developed in the course of a seven day trial.

I. Factual Background.

1. This action was filed in March of 1974 pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 as amended in 1972 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.) and pursuant to the general civil rights statutes, 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983.

2. Plaintiff Lawrence Felix is a Mexican-American citizen who applied for employment as a uniformed patrolman with the City of Santa Ana in the years 1969, 1972, and 1973. He participated in oral interviews and took written and physical examinations, but was denied employment in each of the years he applied.

3. On December 20, 1974 plaintiff Felix was certified by the court as the representative of a class composed of: "(a) all Mexican-Americans who have applied for employment as police officers or firefighters with the defendant City of Santa Ana within three years of the commencement of this action; (b) all Mexican-Americans who presently are applicants for such employment; and (c) all Mexican-Americans who may apply for

410 F. Supp. 880
such employment in the future, who apply during the effective term of any final decree this Court may issue. . .."

4. Plaintiff League of United Latin American Citizens ("LULAC") is a membership organization active in the pursuit of the civil rights of its membership and of Mexican-Americans in general. It is suing on behalf of one or more of its Mexican-American members who are past applicants for employment with either the police or fire departments in Santa Ana.

5. Defendant City of Santa Ana is a chartered municipal corporation located in Orange County and incorporated pursuant to the laws and Constitution of the State of California. The city performs many functions including the prevention, suppression, and extinguishment of fires within the city limits and the prevention of crime and maintenance of public order within the city limits. The former functions, of course, are performed by the Santa Ana Fire Department; the latter by the Santa Ana Police Department.

6. Defendant Vernon Evans is the Mayor of Santa Ana. Defendant Bruce C. Spragg is the City Manager. Defendant Donald Bott is the Personnel Director. Defendant Raymond C. Davis is the Police Chief. Defendant Eugene Judd is the Fire Chief.

7. The principal offices of defendant City of Santa Ana are located within the Central District of California. All individual defendants reside within the Central District, and the employment practices questioned in this litigation were implemented in the Central District.

8. Federal jurisdiction and venue with respect to the Title VII component of this action are based upon § 706(f)(3) of that title, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(3). Jurisdiction and venue for the 42 U.S.C. §§ 1981, 1983 aspects of this litigation rest upon 28 U.S.C. §§ 1343(3) and (4) together with 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b) and (c).

9. As of May 31, 1975, Mexican-Americans constituted 9.2% of the uniformed work force of the Santa Ana Police Department and 4.5% of the Santa Ana Fire Department. The specific numbers are as follows:

 (a) Police Department
                 Total 249
                 Mexican-American 23
                 (b) Fire Department
                 Total 221
                 Mexican-American 10
                

10. According to the 1970 census, the population and labor force statistics for Santa Ana and for Orange County are as follows:

 (a) General population, Santa Ana
                 Total 146,247
                 Mexican-American 37,732 (25.8%)
                 (b) General population, Orange County
                 Total 1,420,386
                 Mexican-American 160,168 (11.3%)
                 (c) Civilian labor force, Santa Ana
                 Total 61,736
                 Mexican-American 13,289 (21.5%)
                 (d) Civilian labor force, Orange County
                 Total 575,570
                 Mexican-American 56,936 (9.9%)
                

11. Mexican-American applicants have been recruited in numbers far below what might be expected for a city with a Mexican-American population exceeding 25% of the total. No statistics were available showing the ethnic breakdown of applications received for uniformed positions in the police and fire departments for the years prior to and including 1971. The parties stipulated, however, that the percentage of Mexican-Americans appearing for the written tests in the years 1972-74 approximated the percentage of Mexican-American applicants.

 1972 1973 1974
                 (a) Fire Department
                 Total
                 recruits 220 117 571
                 Mexican-Americans 34(15.5%) 10(8.5%) 99(17.3%)
                 (b) Police Department
                 Total
                 recruits 144 162 810
                 Mexican-Americans 8(5.5%) 14(8.6%) 128(15.8%)
                

Given recruitment statistics such as these, it is hardly surprising that the percentage of Mexican-Americans employed

410 F. Supp. 881
in the police and fire departments falls far below the percentage of Mexican-Americans in the city's general population. Contrast, for example, the fact that 24.7% of the craftsmen and 27.6% of the laborers employed by the City of Santa Ana as of June 1, 1973 were Mexican-Americans. At the outset, it is curious that the city could attract so many Mexican-Americans for lesser paying jobs and so few for higher paying jobs.

Defendants insist that this disparity is explained by the "fact" that the "natural" labor market for fire and police positions is Orange County, not Santa Ana, and that the percentages of Mexican-American applicants support that analysis. Moreover, the defendants assert that at least since the middle of 1973, they have organized a laudable recruitment program specifically designed to reach groups protected under Title VII.

Specifically, the defendants point to the employment of Mr. Joseph Canton in July, 1973 as a personnel analyst who has been designated specific job functions in the city's "outreach" recruitment program. Although Mr. Canton's recruitment efforts in periods when no vacancies were available in the police and fire departments were relatively minor, when vacancies did become available, Mr. Canton launched a full-time recruitment effort, and he was assisted by four or five minority persons in the police or fire departments and by the staff of the Personnel Department. These efforts ranged from personal contacts, newspaper, radio, and television advertisements, and the dissemination of brochures. Moreover, Mr. Canton made special efforts to involve organizations prominent for their representation of minority groups, such as the plaintiff LULAC. The defendants argue, therefore, that the failure to attract Mexican-American applicants proportionate to that group's representation in the city population is traceable to economic factors...

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33 practice notes
  • Brown v. New Haven Civil Service Bd., Civ. No. N-78-234.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • July 27, 1979
    ...v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 491 F.2d 1364, 1372-73 (5th Cir. 1974); League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873, 894-95 474 F. Supp. 1262 The plaintiffs distinguish Smith v. Troyan,8 supra, by pointing out that the written exam there was part of a cumul......
  • National Org'n For Women v. Sperry Rand Corp., Civ. No. H-77-524.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • October 11, 1978
    ...1973), cert. den. 421 U.S. 991, 95 S.Ct. 1997, 44 L.Ed.2d 481 (1975); League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873, 886-887 (C.D.Cal.1976). Since NOW has alleged in its complaint that the defendant's employment practices have injured one or more of its memb......
  • Chavez-Salido v. Cabell, No. CV 76-0541-IH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 14, 1977
    ...district court in this district has previously declined to follow Arunga, League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873 (C.D.Cal.1976), and we do likewise. We also believe that whatever authority Arunga has, has been undermined by language in a more recent d......
  • Contreras v. City of Los Angeles, No. 78-2060
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • September 14, 1981
    ...433 U.S. 299, 307-08, 97 S.Ct. 2736, 2741-42, 53 L.Ed.2d 768 (1977); League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873, 891 (C.D.Cal.1976). Although the prima facie case requirement is not automatically satisfied by statistical evidence of adverse impact, we hol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
33 cases
  • Brown v. New Haven Civil Service Bd., Civ. No. N-78-234.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • July 27, 1979
    ...v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., 491 F.2d 1364, 1372-73 (5th Cir. 1974); League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873, 894-95 474 F. Supp. 1262 The plaintiffs distinguish Smith v. Troyan,8 supra, by pointing out that the written exam there was part of a cumul......
  • National Org'n For Women v. Sperry Rand Corp., Civ. No. H-77-524.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 2nd Circuit. United States District Court (Connecticut)
    • October 11, 1978
    ...1973), cert. den. 421 U.S. 991, 95 S.Ct. 1997, 44 L.Ed.2d 481 (1975); League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873, 886-887 (C.D.Cal.1976). Since NOW has alleged in its complaint that the defendant's employment practices have injured one or more of its memb......
  • Chavez-Salido v. Cabell, No. CV 76-0541-IH.
    • United States
    • United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. United States District Courts. 9th Circuit. Central District of California
    • March 14, 1977
    ...district court in this district has previously declined to follow Arunga, League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873 (C.D.Cal.1976), and we do likewise. We also believe that whatever authority Arunga has, has been undermined by language in a more recent d......
  • Contreras v. City of Los Angeles, No. 78-2060
    • United States
    • United States Courts of Appeals. United States Court of Appeals (9th Circuit)
    • September 14, 1981
    ...433 U.S. 299, 307-08, 97 S.Ct. 2736, 2741-42, 53 L.Ed.2d 768 (1977); League of United Latin American Citizens v. City of Santa Ana, 410 F.Supp. 873, 891 (C.D.Cal.1976). Although the prima facie case requirement is not automatically satisfied by statistical evidence of adverse impact, we hol......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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