Civil Procedure Keyed to Cound
Wetzel v. Liberty Mutual Ins. Co
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Sandra Wetzel and Mari Ross, Plaintiffs, wanted to be hired as claims adjusters for Liberty Mutual Ins. Co, Defendant, rather than claims representatives, but were told by Defendant that the position was only open to men. Plaintiffs filed charges with the Pennsylvania Human Rights Commission (PHRC) and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). Defendant decided to open the position to women including Plaintiffs, but Plaintiffs refused the offers because the offers included unacceptable conditions. The charges in the complaint were that the hiring and promotion policies and pregnancy-related policies violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. Section:2000e (“Title VII”) and the salary policy violated the Equal Pay Act. Plaintiffs commenced a class action in federal court in Pennsylvania on behalf of “all present and future female technical employees in [Defendant’s] claim department without limitation to territory in the entire geographic location in which the defendant does business” and was later amended to include all former and future female technical employees. The District Court certified the class under Rule 23(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and said it was maintainable under Rule 23(b)(3) as well. The court refused to require that notice be given to the class. The District Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for summary judgment regarding claims involving Defendant’s pregnancy related policies. In addition, the Court found that Defendant’s promotion and hiring policies also violated Title VII but because the evidence showed that the policies were discontinued, the Court did not issue injunctive relief. Defendant appealed the District Court’s management of the class action and summary judgment orders.
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