United States v. City of Lubbock, Texas
www.LubbockPDSettlement.com

Frequently Asked Questions

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1. What is this lawsuit about?

In its lawsuit, the United States alleged that the City had engaged in unlawful employment practices that deprived or tended to deprive Hispanics and women of employment opportunities because of their national origin and/or sex, in violation of Section 703(a) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a). Specifically, the United States alleged that, in its hiring process for probationary police officers from January 2010 to June 2015, the City used a written examination that had an adverse impact on Hispanic applicants and a physical fitness test that had an adverse impact on female applicants. The United States alleged that neither test was sufficiently job related or consistent with business necessity. The United States did not, however, allege that the City had intentionally discriminated against any person or group of persons.

In the interest of resolving this matter and promoting the purposes of Title VII, the United States and the City voluntarily entered into a Consent Decree. The Court found the terms of the Consent Decree to be fair, lawful, and reasonable, and entered the Consent Decree as final on November 14, 2016.

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2. What happened at the Fairness Hearing on November 14, 2016?

The Fairness Hearing on the Terms of the Consent Decree was held before the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas on November 14, 2016. The United States and the City argued that the terms of this Consent Decree were fair, lawful, and reasonable. There were no substantive objections to the Consent Decree. At the end of the hearing, the Court found the Consent Decree to be fair, lawful, and reasonable. The Court entered the Consent Decree as final on November 14, 2016.

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3. What individual awards are available to Hispanic and female victims of the City's alleged discrimination?

The Consent Decree describes the awards that will be available to the victims of the City’s alleged discrimination. Because the Consent Decree resolves the discriminatory impact of two separate testing devices used by the City to hire probationary police officers, two different groups of victims may be entitled to relief.

  • If you identified as Hispanic when applying to be a probationary police officer and you did not pass the written examination administered by the Lubbock Police Department between January 16, 2010, and June 6, 2015, you may be entitled to:
    • A cash award of back pay to make up for some of the wages lost due to discrimination. Specifically, the City has agreed to provide $326,250 in back pay to be distributed amongst eligible Hispanic claimants.
    • Consideration for a position as a probationary police officer with the Lubbock Police Department, including retroactive seniority.
    • Retroactive seniority, including retroactive pension benefits, for up to 11 police officers. This retroactive seniority may not be used for shift-bidding or to satisfy any applicable probationary periods or any time-in-grade requirements associated with promotion eligibility.
  • If you identified as female when applying to be a probationary police officer and you did not pass the physical fitness test administered by the Lubbock Police Department between January 16, 2010, and June 6, 2015, you may be entitled to:
    • A cash award of back pay to make up for some of the wages lost due to discrimination. Specifically, the City has agreed to provide $398,750 in back pay to be distributed amongst eligible female claimants.
    • Consideration for a position as a probationary police officer with the Lubbock Police Department, including retroactive seniority.
    • Retroactive seniority, including retroactive pension benefits, for up to 13 police officers. This retroactive seniority may not be used for shift-bidding or to satisfy any applicable probationary periods or any time-in-grade requirements associated with promotion eligibility.

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4. Will Hispanic and female applicants automatically be eligible to receive an award?

No. Only applicants who identified as Hispanic when applying and who were disqualified by the City’s use of the written examination and applicants who identified as female when applying and who were disqualified by the City’s use of the physical fitness test from January 2010 to June 2015 may be eligible to receive an award. Hispanic applicants who were not hired for reasons unrelated to the written examination, and female applicants who were not hired for reasons unrelated to the physical fitness test will not be eligible to receive an award. Please see the terms of the Consent Decree for specific eligibility criteria for monetary and/or hiring relief.

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5. What should I do to be considered for an individual award?

Notice of Entry of the Consent Decree, Interest-in-Relief Forms, and Instructions for Filing a Claim to be Considered for a Cash Back Pay Award or Priority Hiring Consideration (“Interest-in-Relief Form Documents”) were mailed and emailed to all potentially eligible individuals on December 14, 2016. Specifically, the Interest-in-Relief Form Documents were sent to:

  • Applicants who identified as Hispanic when applying to be a probationary police officer with the Lubbock Police Department and who did not pass the written examination administered by the Lubbock Police Department between January 16, 2010, and June 6, 2015; and
  • Applicants who identified as female when applying to be a probationary police officer with the Lubbock Police Department and who did not pass the physical fitness test administered by the Lubbock Police Department between January 16, 2010, and June 6, 2015.

Individuals who do not fall into either of these categories are not eligible for relief.

To be considered for an individual award, you must complete and submit the Interest-in-Relief Form that you receive in mid-December by January 30, 2017. Submitting the Interest-in-Relief Form does not guarantee that you will receive any individual award.

It is important that we have up-to-date contact information for potentially eligible individuals. Please contact us by email at info@LubbockPDSettlement.com or send a letter to Lubbock Police Department Settlement, c/o GCG, PO Box 9349, Dublin, OH 43017-4249 if your contact information changes.

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6. What happens next?

Process to Apply for Individual Relief

On December 14, 2016, Interest-in-Relief Form Documents were mailed and emailed to (1) all applicants who identified as Hispanic when applying and who failed the written examination from January 2010 to June 2015, and (2) all applicants who identified as female when applying and who failed the physical fitness test form January 2010 to June 2015. These documents allowed interested applicants to request individual relief by submitting an Interest-in-Relief Form by January 30, 2017.

The United States reviewed all Interest-in-Relief Forms and made preliminary determinations as to whether claimants were eligible for the individual relief sought. The United States submitted its proposed relief determinations to the Court on May 15, 2017. The City of Lubbock and claimants have the opportunity to object to the United States’ preliminary determinations.

GCG will send information regarding the United States’ determinations no later than June 30, 2017, to individuals who submitted an Interest-in-Relief Form. Claimants who wish to object to the United States’ relief determinations must do so by July 31, 2017.

Fairness Hearing on Individual Relief

The Court will hold a second fairness hearing on September 19, 2017. At the Fairness Hearing on Individual Relief, the Court will review the United States’ Proposed Individual Relief Awards Lists and any received objections from claimants or the City of Lubbock. The Court will determine whether any objections to the United States’ preliminary determinations are well-founded. If the Court determines that the individual relief awards are fair, reasonable, equitable, and lawful, the Court will approve the final awards at or following the Fairness Hearing on Individual Relief.

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