seems clear that Ms. Roberts, together with plaintiff Chambers, was a driving force in the initiation of this litigation and in its prosecution to a successful conclusion, a result that mightily benefited the Class. It, likewise, seems clear that she not only faced personal risk, she was subjected to, at least, verbal abuse. Finally, in undertaking and actively pursuing her role as plaintiff, Ms. Roberts suffered loss not only in terms of vacation and other time taken to pursue the litigation, but also in terms of out-of-pocket loss resulting from the circumstances attendant to her separation from Texaco.
Mr. Chambers worked with Ms. Roberts in the Texaco Finance Department at its Harrison headquarters. Mr. Chambers holds Bachelor of Arts and M.B.A. degrees from N.Y.U. Prior to joining Texaco, he worked for the Federal Reserve Bank of New York and at Prudential-Bache Securities. He received several awards from Texaco. Together with Ms. Roberts, he decided to try to reform perceived discriminatory hiring and promotion policy. The results of that effort have been noted above. Like Ms. Roberts, Mr. Chambers knew of the firing of the African-American attorney who had endeavored to initiate proceedings against Texaco based on its racially discriminatory practices, as well as the retaliatory actions that had followed the filing of gender-based discrimination claims. Despite the chilling effect that Mr. Chambers says these events created, he joined Ms. Roberts in identifying class counsel and in actively pursuing its successful prosecution at some cost, including the loss of vacation time.
Mr. Chambers helped counsel draft the charge relating to Texaco's Performance Management Process evaluation system, which system later was invalidated by the Equal Employment Commission as invalid and discriminatory against women and minorities. During the course of his internal challenge to that policy, Texaco's Treasurer assertedly pressed him to withdraw it in exchange for a salary increase. Mr. Chambers refused the offer. (See Chambers April 23 Aff. at P 15-17. That episode, in turn, caused Mr. Chambers to press for the initiation of this litigation.
In his April 23, 1997 affidavit and in testimony before the Special Master, Mr. Chambers recounted that, following the commencement of this action, he was subjected to attempts by superiors to embarrass him before senior officials of Texaco, was threatened and was denied advancement ratings. He asserts that his son was ostracized by his teacher, who criticized the child for his father's role in this litigation (Id at P 25). Mr. Chambers presented a persuasive case of personal embarrassment and attempts at humiliation.
It is estimated that Mr. Chambers will be among those in the low range of the $ 60,000 to $ 80,000 in cash benefits to be derived from the settlement. Having been cautioned by Texaco's EEO officer to not "show your face at Texaco for a while" following the consummation of the settlement, Mr. Chambers was the recipient of individual relief, pursuant to which he was placed on a one-year "Executive on Loan" leave, receiving full pay from Texaco while working as Chief Financial Officer of his church. Mr. Chambers' current salary is $ 88,700.
What has been said above concerning Ms. Roberts' contribution to the successful prosecution of this litigation and the risks, burdens and humiliation sustained by reason thereof, applies with equal force to Mr. Chambers. It appears, however, his out-pocket loss may not have been as substantial as that of Ms. Roberts'. It is recommended that Mr. Chambers receive an incentive award of $ 50,000.
Plaintiffs Williams, Harris and Hester
The essential facts respecting each of these plaintiffs, as established (without contradiction) in their supporting papers and at the conference with the Special Master, are substantially similar. Each joined the litigation subsequent to its commencement by Plaintiffs Roberts and Chambers. Each did so following one or more incidents giving rise to the conviction that discriminatory practices had impeded advancement at Texaco. Each was aware, prior to joining the proceedings, that others had faced what appeared to be retribution for similar actions, and, nonetheless, became a plaintiff out of a sense of conviction that it was the right thing to do. Each participated in one fashion or another in aiding in the prosecution of the litigation.
Each was required to devote time, generally vacation time, to that task. Following their joinder as plaintiffs, each was subject to hostility -- manifested in lesser job evaluations and diminished compensation increases (Williams Aff at 10-11), less significant job assignments and ostracism (Harris Aff at P 14), and to transfer to a more remote job location (Hester Aff. at P 15-16). It seems clear, however, that plaintiffs Roberts and Chambers have borne, at least, the initial brunt of the proceedings and, without in any way diminishing the fortitude shown by these plaintiffs, they and their counsel correctly concluded that they should receive a lesser award than plaintiffs Roberts and Chambers (they seek $ 100,000 each, while plaintiffs Roberts and Chambers seek $ 200,000 each).
It is recommended that plaintiffs Williams, Harris and Hester each receive an incentive award of $ 25,000.
Much of what has been said above applies to Ms. Shinault, in terms of joining the litigation after its initial commencement by plaintiffs Roberts and Chambers, in terms of the burdens attendant to being a plaintiff (in submitting to deposition and feeling demeaned in the proceedings), and in providing (while using vacation time) valuable assistance to counsel in prosecuting the litigation. However, there is one critical element that separates Ms. Shinault from the other plaintiffs. She resigned from Texaco shortly before the commencement of this action by plaintiffs Roberts and Chambers. Hence, her submission lacks any significant showing of post-litigation burden or risk. It is estimated that Ms. Shinult will receive between $ 30,000 and $ 40,000 when the settlement funds are ultimately distributed.
It is recommended that Ms. Shinault receive an incentive award of $ 2,500.
In sum, it is recommended that:
1. Plaintiffs' counsel receive (a) for legal services rendered prior to the entry of judgment a fee award payable out of the escrow fund (and without interest) upon approval by the Court in the amount of $ 19,154,144.62 (or 5.5 times the lodestar of $ 3,482,571.75), plus (b) a further payment out of the escrow fund and covering services to be rendered in the aggregate amount of $ 1,000,000 payable (without interest) over a five-year period in bi-annual installments, or in such other sum as the Court may direct, upon bi-annual application to and approval by the Court;