Chevron Press Release - Chevron Information Technology Co. And Plaintiffs Settle Class Action Discrimination Lawsuit
SAN FRANCISCO, Nov. 6, 1996 -- Chevron Information Technology Co. (CITC) and attorneys for 777 current and former CITC women employees have settled a class action lawsuit, the parties announced today. The women had sued CITC, a San Ramon-based operating unit of Chevron Corporation, claiming gender discrimination. The agreement is subject to approval by Judge John E. Munter of the San Francisco Superior Court. The settlement terms include:
- Class members who believe they were discriminated against may elect an expedited claims procedure by filing a wage claim and receiving a payment based upon their salary level and years of service. Alternatively, class members can choose to have their wage claims decided by a neutral arbitrator. The total amount of wage payments will depend on the number of class members who submit claims. If all class members were to submit an expedited claim, the total cost to the company for wage claims would be $7.42 million, which includes six percent interest. The actual amount paid by the company for wage claims may be more or less than $7.42 million, however, depending on how many class members submit claims, and on the arbitration results for those women who choose arbitration.
- Class members may also file claims for emotional distress. If their claims are accepted, class members may recover $5,000, $20,000 or $50,000, depending on the nature and severity of their injury and the evidence they are able to provide in support of their claim. It is anticipated that most women who file successful emotional distress claims will be compensated at the $5,000 level. Individual awards for $5,000 may be prorated if the total amount of $5,000 awards exceed a cap of $1 million. The $20,000 and $50,000 awards are not subject to proration, but, if challenged by CITC, will require a significantly greater showing of injury supported by medical documentation at an arbitration hearing.
- CITC and the attorneys representing the women will contribute a total of $200,000 to not-for-profit women's support organizations -- $150,000 from CITC and $50,000 from the lawyers representing the class.
- A nationally recognized independent consulting firm will be appointed to review CITC's employment policies and practices and make recommendations for improvement.
- CITC will implement several new programs designed to achieve the parties' mutual goals of enhancing the company's diversity efforts and creating a more supportive environment for all employees. These programs will include:
- Establishing a Diversity Council, which will provide a forum for employees and management to explore and promote diversity issues throughout CITC;
- Appointing a high level ombuds, whose responsibilities will include receiving, investigating and facilitating resolution of employee complaints and concerns, including complaints of discrimination;
- Instituting a Career Guidance Program to provide one-on-one career development advice and feedback to interested employees; and
- Establishing a one-day Annual Leadership Conference to provide opportunities for employees to obtain information from, gain exposure to, and develop contact with Chevron managers, and to develop skills which will enhance their ability to become leaders.
Settlement funds will be distributed in approximately six months, following a hearing and final court approval of the settlement.
The parties have issued this joint press release as the means to communicate the settlement terms.
The class action suit was filed on Aug. 19, 1992, alleging sex discrimination and sexual harassment. In February 1994 the court granted class certification of the sex discrimination claims, but denied certification of the sexual harassment claims. The individual claims of sexual harassment were settled in February 1995.
Updated: November 1996