Gulino v. Board of Education Litigation
www.gulinolitigation.com

Case Timeline & Certain Court Decisions

November 8, 1996 – The Complaint (Dkt. 1)

Plaintiffs filed the complaint underlying this lawsuit in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

September 4, 2003 – Adverse Impact Finding (Dkt. 212)

The Court finds that the LAST has a statistically significant adverse impact against African-American and Latino test-takers.

December 5, 2012 – Liability Ruling (Dkt. 321)

The Court found that the DOE failed to establish that the LAST was related to the job of teaching as required by federal law. The Court also found that as a result, the DOE had violated Title VII by requiring plaintiffs to pass the LAST in order to receive a teaching license. The plaintiffs' complaint in this case is not based on a theory of intentional discrimination. Rather, the plaintiffs have alleged, and the Court found, that the DOE was liable for making employment decisions based on the state's exam under a "disparate impact" theory of discrimination.

August 29, 2013 – Relief Phase Certification Order (Dkt. 386)

The Court certifies a class of plaintiffs who can seek individualized monetary and injunctive relief as a result of the DOE’s Title VII violation.

May 20, 2014 – Order Appointing Special Master John Siffert (Dkt. 435)

The Court issues an order appointing John Siffert as Special Master overseeing the relief phase of the case.

June 18, 2014 – Amendment to the Class Definition (Dkt. 447)

The Court amends the class definition so that it includes African-American and Latino individuals employed as New York City public school teachers on or after June 29, 1995, who failed the Liberal Arts and Sciences Test ("LAST") given on or before February 13, 2004, and as a result either lost or were denied a permanent teaching appointment.

November 24, 2014 & March 31, 2015 – Injunction Regarding Claimants Who Took the LAST on or before February 13, 2004 and have satisfied all other New York State certification requirements (Dkt. 530 & Dkt. 576)

The Court entered an injunction: (1) prohibiting the DOE from making any employment decisions based upon the LAST administered on or before February 13, 2004 and (2) providing claimants, who have satisfied certain enumerated requirements for a provisional certificate other than passing the LAST, with the opportunity to become provisionally certified for the limited purpose of seeking employment with the DOE (the “LAST-1 Injunction”). Class members interested in becoming certified pursuant to this injunction must speak with Rachel Stevens at 212-335-4552 or rachel.stevens@dlapiper.com prior to June 1, 2019. After June 1, 2019, it may be too late to become certified through the injunction.

June 5, 2015 – Liability Ruling Regarding LAST that was Administered after February 13, 2004 (“LAST-2”) (Dkt. 608)

The Court found that the LAST exam administered after February 13, 2004 was also invalid and that the DOE violated Title VII by requiring claimants to pass LAST-2 to receive a permanent teaching license.

August 6, 2015 – Liability Ruling Regarding Academic Literacy Skills Test (“ALST”)

The Court found that the DOE did not violate Title VII by complying with the New York State Education Department’s (“SED”) requirement that teachers pass the ALST before they are eligible for a permanent teaching license.

September 21, 2015 – Class Membership Ruling Regarding Paraprofessionals (Dkt. 674)

The Court ruled that claimants who were employed only as paraprofessionals by the DOE are not members of the class. The Court also held that the following categories of claimants, which the DOE had challenged, should not be excluded from the class at this stage: (1) claimants who were not employed by the DOE at the time they failed the LAST; (2) claimants who were employed only as per diem substitute teachers; and (3) claimants who failed the LAST only before June 29, 1995. Final decisions concerning class membership for these claimants may be finally determined at individual hearings.

Additionally, the Court denied DOE’s motion to reduce monetary damages on a class-wide basis and held that any disputes concerning hiring decisions, attrition, and an individual’s failure to secure a permanent teaching position with the DOE would be resolved during individual hearings.

December 28, 2015 – Injunction Regarding Claimants Who Took LAST-2 and have satisfied all other New York State certification requirements (Dkt. 707)

The Court entered an injunction: (1) prohibiting the DOE from making any employment decisions based upon the LAST administered on or after February 14, 2004; and (2) providing individuals, who have satisfied certain enumerated requirements for a provisional certificate other than passing the LAST-2, with the opportunity to become provisionally certified for the limited purpose of seeking employment with the DOE (the “LAST-2 Injunction”). This injunction expires on December 28, 2020. For more information about how to be deemed certified pursuant to this injunction please contact Shauneida Navarrete at snavarrete@stroock.com.

January 22, 2016 – Motion to Amend Class Definition to Include Paraprofessionals and Claimants Who Failed LAST-2

Plaintiffs have filed a motion to amend the class definition to include: (1) paraprofessionals, who have failed the LAST, and (2) all African American and Latino individuals, who were employed as school teachers and paraprofessionals by the DOE, failed any administration of the LAST (including the LAST-2), and either lost or were denied a permanent DOE teaching position.

The Court has not yet made a decision regarding Plaintiffs’ request to expand the class to include paraprofessionals.

February 27, 2016 – Motion to Modify Existing Injunctions to Grant Eligible Claimants Statewide Certification

Plaintiffs have filed a motion to modify the Court’s existing injunctions, which currently allow eligible claimants to become provisionally “deemed certified” for the limited purpose of seeking employment with the DOE. In their motion, Plaintiffs asked the Court to require the SED to grant these eligible class members New York State Provisional Certificates, instead of one that is limited to employment with the DOE.

The Court has ruled that it would not expand the existing injunctions and that the certifications obtained through this case would remain limited to employment with the DOE only.

July 15, 2016 – Notice of Withdrawal of Interim Report and Recommendation (Dkt. 790)

The Special Master requests that the Court not rule on Plaintiffs’ motion to amend to include paraprofessionals in the class based on new-found evidence. The Special Master issues a report and recommendation, though, that the Court expand the class to include all African American and Latino individuals, who were employed as teachers by the DOE, who failed any administration of the LAST (including the LAST administered after February 13, 2004, and either lost or were denied a permanent DOE teaching position.

October 6, 2016 – Individual Hearings begin

On October 6, 2016, Plaintiffs’ counsel submitted their first set of damages demands for ten class members, commencing the individual hearings portion of the Gulino case. The demand for damages include backpay and LAST fees damages for each class member. Individual hearings have continued to proceed to present day. Every two weeks Plaintiffs’ counsel submits damages demands for ten to twenty class members.

October 7, 2016 – Motion to Amend Class Definition to Include Claimants Who Failed the LAST-2 (Dkt. 826)

On October 7, 2016, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion to amend the class definition to:

All African-American and Latino individuals employed as New York City public school teachers by Defendant on or after June 29, 1995, who failed to achieve a qualifying score on any administration of the LAST, and as a result either lost or were denied a permanent teaching appointment.

December 8, 2016 – Individual Hearings continue

On December 8, 2016, Plaintiffs’ counsel submitted their fifth batch of damages demands, which included exhibits and affidavits for certain demands. As of December 8, Plaintiffs’ counsel had submitted fifty damages demands since individual hearings began.

November 30, 2018 – Court extends LAST-1 Injunction deadline

On November 30, 2018, the parties agreed, and the Court ordered, that the LAST-1 Injunction to be extended to June 2, 2019. Class members whose transcripts have been sent to the Court-ordered evaluator for review will have until March 1, 2020 to demonstrate their satisfaction of the Court’s requirements for certification. (Dkt. 1003)

December 14 and 17, 2018 – Court Enters Classwide Documents

On December 17 2018, the Court entered the parties stipulated classwide documents including: Classwide Conclusions of Law; the Stipulation of Classwide Facts and Procedures; the Stipulation Concerning the Admissibility of Exhibits; and the Pension Stipulation & Order. Teachers’ Retirement System, Board of Education Retirement System, and New York City Employees’ Retirement System also agreed to the Pension Stipulation & Order, which states these retirement systems will update their respective data to include new service and salary information for class members once ordered by the Court. (Dkt. 1009, 1010, 1012, 1013, 1014)

January 24, 2019 – Individual Hearings continue

On January 24, 2019, Plaintiffs’ counsel submitted their fifty-third batch of damages demands, which included exhibits and affidavits for certain demands. As of January 24, Plaintiffs’ counsel had submitted over 650 damages demands since individual hearings began.

February 28, 2019 – Special Master begins to Submit Reports and Recommendations for Class Members

On February 28, 2019, the Special Master submitted thirty-three reports and recommendations for individual class members, recommending the Court order the class members receive backpay, LAST fees, and other monetary damages. The reports and recommendations also recommended that the Court order certain injunctive relief for individual class members including pension credits and salary step adjustment. The Special Master will continue to submit reports and recommendations for batches of class members on a bi-weekly basis.

March 13 and 14, 2019 – Court begins to enter Final Judgment for Class Members

On March 13 and March 14, 2019, the Court ordered that thirty-five individual class members were entitled backpay, LAST fees, and other monetary damages from the BOE. The Court also ordered that certain individual class members were entitled to injunctive relief, including pension credits and salary step adjustment. The Court will continue to enter new final judgments as they are submitted by the Special Master.

April 11, 2019 – BOE begins to appeal Final Judgments

On April 11, 2019, the BOE appealed the Court-order monetary judgment for the first batch of class members. The BOE has continued to appeal the judgments entered by the Court.