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WALKER v. COLUMBIA UNIV.

February 11, 1976

Cora P. Walker et al., Plaintiffs
v.
Columbia University et al., Defendants. Peter J. Brennan, Secretary of Labor, United States Department of Labor, Plaintiff v. Columbia University et al., Defendants-Third Party Plaintiffs v. Transport Workers Union of America AFL-CIO et al., Third Party Defendants


Owen, District Judge


The opinion of the court was delivered by: OWEN

OWEN, District Judge:

There are two actions before me. The first is by plaintiffs Cora P. Walker, et al., against their employer Columbia University, a non-profit institution of higher learning, and Transport Workers Union of America, AFL-CIO, and its Local Union No. 241, their unions alleging sex discrimination in hiring, promotion and pay in violation of the Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. §§ 201, et seq. (hereinafter E.P.A.) and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-2000e-15 (hereinafter Title VII). The second is by plaintiff Peter J. Brennan, in his capacity as United States Secretary of Labor, for an alleged violation by Columbia of the E.P.A. In the second action Columbia brought in the Unions as third-party defendants.

 To maintain various of its class buildings and residence halls, Columbia University has "light" and "heavy" cleaners *fn1" working under the direction of supervisors. It has security guards to protect these buildings. The heavy cleaners, guards and supervisors all have women among their numbers. There are no men among the light cleaners.

 At all material times, Mrs. Walker and the other individual plaintiffs (collectively the "Walker plaintiffs") were employed as light cleaners within the Buildings and Grounds Department of Columbia. The Union has been the exclusive bargaining agent for all of the University custodial and maintenance employees at Morningside Heights since about 1945.

 The above entitled actions were consolidated for trial purposes by order dated April 10, 1974 and a lengthy trial was held in installments commencing on September 9 and concluding on November 21, 1974.

 As To The Equal Pay Claims:

 Columbia, within its Department of Buildings and Grounds and within its Department of Residence Halls has, for at least 30 years prior to March 11, 1971, *fn2" and continuing to the present, maintained separate job classifications and paid different wages for heavy cleaners and light cleaners. No male has ever applied for a light cleaner position. Some females have applied for and have been accepted as heavy cleaners.

 Dating back to at least the early 1940's, the heavy cleaner category has included women charged with the duty of cleaning the lavatories and shower facilities in the dormitories such as Johnson Hall, reserved exclusively for women ("shower maids"). There are presently two women (one full time and one part time) who perform this duty on a permanent basis and receive heavy cleaner pay.

 Since the mid-1940's, Columbia has also paid heavy cleaner wages to light cleaners working in the Residence Halls Department for those periods in which they were asked to perform and did perform heavy cleaner duties.

 Commencing with the 1970 contract and at all material times thereafter the terms of written job descriptions for each job classification, including heavy cleaners and light cleaners, have been incorporated by reference into the collective bargaining agreements between the Union and Columbia.

 The pertinent job description for heavy cleaners, prepared by Columbia under date of November 6, 1969, provides:

 
Performs heavy cleaning duties in academic and research buildings including any or a combination of the following:
 
Operating heavy motor driven cleaning equipment
 
Wet mopping floors
 
Stripping floors
 
Washing walls, glass partitions and blackboards
 
Polishing marble or brass
 
Moving furniture within rooms being cleaned
 
Hosing sidewalks
 
Shoveling snow from front stoops and entranceways
 
Removing heavy rubbish
 
Changing light bulbs and ...

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