Class Counsel Announce That Federal Court Certifies Class Action Lawsuit by African-American...

Class Counsel Announce That Federal Court Certifies Class Action Lawsuit by African-American and Latino Employees Against FedEx Express


San Francisco, CA–(HISPANIC PR WIRE – BUSINESS WIRE)–September 29, 2005–Class counsel announced that U.S. District Court Judge Susan Illston today certified as a class action a lawsuit against FedEx Express (“FedEx”) brought by African-American and Latino hourly employees and African-American lower level managers in the company’s Western Region. The suit, filed by eight current and former employees, alleges that FedEx systematically discriminates against African-American and Latino hourly employees in compensation, promotion, performance evaluation, and discipline, and against African-American lower level managers in compensation, performance evaluation, and discipline. It is estimated that the class consists of several thousand employees and several hundred managers.

“FedEx prides itself on its speedy, on-time delivery of letters and parcels,” commented James M. Finberg, class counsel and a partner with Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein, LLP. “When it comes to providing equal opportunity for its African-American and Latino employees, however, FedEx fails to deliver at all.”

Class representative Kalini Boykin of Sacramento, CA, an African-American lower level manager, stated, “I am delighted with the Court’s decision. When I first joined FedEx almost 10 years ago, I believed I was joining a company where everyone has a chance to succeed regardless of race. Then I saw my white peers getting promotions with little effort, while I and my African-American peers got rejection letters. FedEx needs to change its policies and its culture to treat minorities fairly.”

Class representative Derrick Satchell of Tracy, CA, an African-American lower level manager who worked at FedEx for almost 10 years, explained: “FedEx’s policies do not provide fair treatment. If a company is going to claim to treat people fairly, it should do so. All employees should be rewarded for their hard work, loyalty, and track records. We minorities were singled out for discipline and passed over for promotions compared to our counterparts who were not minorities. That is not fair treatment.”

The lawsuit, entitled Satchell et al. v. FedEx Express, Case No. C03-2659 & C 03-2878, charges that FedEx pays African-American and Latino workers less than non-minority employees, denies minority hourly employees promotions that they are qualified to receive, and subjects minority employees to unfair and harsher discipline than non-minority employees for the same conduct.

“The results of FedEx’s discrimination are seen in the composition of its workforce,” stated Mr. Finberg. “At FedEx, minorities make up approximately 56% of “Handlers” — the workers who load and unload freight — but minorities hold only approximately 29% of Operations Manager positions and only approximately 23% of Senior Manager positions at the company, even though management positions are predominantly filled from within the company’s workforce.”

The lawsuit seeks to halt FedEx’s discriminatory policies and practices. It also seeks back and front pay, compensatory damages, punitive damages, and other injunctive relief on behalf of class members.

In its order, the Court certified two classes of employees in FedEx’s Western Region to remedy and obtain redress for FedEx’s discriminatory policies and practices during periods reaching back as far as October 17, 1999 through the date of judgment: the “Minority Employee Class” and the “African-American Lower-Level Manager Class.” FedEx’s Western Region is comprised of Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, part of Texas, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming.

Counsel for plaintiffs Cael Davis affirmed: “This ruling is significant for the many African-American and Latino employees who have not been treated fairly and equally by FedEx. The experiences of minority employees, confirmed by statistics, show that discrimination at FedEx is systematic and widespread. Those who have brought this case are committed to putting an end to FedEx’s discriminatory policies and practices and to securing equal treatment for all employees, regardless of their race.”

The Court appointed the following firms to serve as Class Counsel: Lieff, Cabraser, Heimann & Bernstein, LLP; Schneider & Wallace; Law Offices of John L. Burris; Law Offices of Kay McKenzie Parker.

Information for Class Members

The Court’s order certifying the class can be found at

Class Counsel Announce That Federal Court Certifies Class Action Lawsuit by African-American and Latino Employees Against FedEx Express