Court Rejects Maricopa Community College District's Motion To End Lawsuit

MALDEF represents class of Latino employees with employment discrimination claims

April 03, 2008

PHOENIX, AZ – Monday, the United States District Court for Arizona denied a motion filed by the Maricopa County Community College District, its Chancellor and Governing Board (MCCCD) to end a class action lawsuit brought against them by Latino employees. The Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF), which represents the plaintiffs in the case, urged the federal court to deny the motion because there was sufficient evidence to show that MCCCD failed to remedy a hostile work environment at the District. The Honorable Earl H. Carroll sided with MALDEF, finding that disposal of the case was inappropriate because there are disputed issues of fact that must be resolved by a jury.

The plaintiffs filed suit in November 2004 after a District professor sent through an employee distribution list a series of racially charged emails targeting Latinos. MCCCD officials failed to take remedial action, despite repeated complaints from employees.

MALDEF Vice President of Litigation, Cynthia Valenzuela stated, “The court’s ruling today reaffirms our position that Latino employees who are subjected to workplace discrimination deserve their day in court.”

“This lawsuit is about dignity in the workplace,” said MALDEF Staff Attorney Diego Bernal. “Employers should not demand of their employees that they submit to racial hostility as part of their job,” added Bernal.

For all media inquiries, please contact Laura Rodriguez.

Copyright 2009 MALDEF — Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund