Notice

IOWA DISTRICT COURT, POLK COUNTY NOTICE OF CLASS ACTION 

ROBINSON V. DES MOINES PUBLIC SCHOOLS --CASE No. LACL136651

IF YOU ARE AN AFRICAN AMERICAN WHO APPLIED FOR EMPLOYMENT WITH DES MOINES PUBLIC SCHOOLS BETWEEN APRIL 11, 2014 AND DECEMBER 12, 2018 BUT WERE DENIED EMPLOYMENT BECAUSE OF A CRIMINAL BACKGROUND CHECK

READ THIS NOTICE CAREFULLY--IT MAY AFFECT YOUR RIGHTS.

A court authorized this notice. This is not a solicitation from a lawyer.

  • Class Representative Keith Robinson, an African American, asserts that Des Moines Public Schools (DMPS) excluded him from employment pursuant to its criminal background check policy. He is suing DMPS for race discrimination. Mr. Robinson alleges that DMPS's criminal background check policy affects African Americans at a higher rate that non-African Americans, resulting in systemic race discrimination. These are only allegations and Robinson has not yet proven these claims.

  • The Polk County District Court ruled that Mr. Robinson's lawsuit can be maintained as a class action as to the following class:

CLASS DEFINITION: All African Americans who from April 11, 2014 through December 12, 2018 were harmed by: (1) DMPS' practice of excluding applicants from employment based upon criminal background screening criteria without consideration of information relevant to whether the policy as applied to those applicants is job related and consistent with business necessity; or (2) DMPS' practice of excluding applicants from employment based on whether or how thoroughly they disclosed their prior criminal convictions; or (3) both. The Class does not consist of any applicants who were statutorily barred from working for an Iowa school district due to their inclusion on abuse registries, any applicants who DMPS excluded solely because of non-criminal convictions such as arrests or traffic accidents, and any applicants who were hired by DMPS but only denied vehicle leases as a result of criminal conviction screenings. The class period is limited to April 11, 2014 through December 12, 2018.

  • The judgment in this lawsuit, whether favorable or unfavorable, will bind everyone covered by the class definition. The lawsuit seeks all relief available under the Iowa Civil Rights Act, including but not limited to lost wages, emotional distress damages, and equitable and injunctive relief.

  • You have the right to appear in the class action either personally or through counsel. If you appear individually, you may be liable for costs assessed against the class.

  • The Court has not yet decided whether Des Moines Pubic Schools has broken the law. There is no money available now, and no guarantee there will be. However, your legal rights are affected and you have a choice to make now:

YOUR LEGAL RIGHTS AND OPTIONS IN THIS LAWSUIT
DO NOTHING

Stay in this lawsuit. Await the outcome. Give up certain rights.

By doing nothing, you keep the possibility of getting money or benefits that may come from a trial or settlement. But, you give up any rights to sue Des Moines Public Schools separately about the same legal claims in this lawsuit

ASK TO BE EXCLUDED FROM THIS SUIT

Get out of this lawsuit. Get no benefits from it. Keep certain rights.

If you ask to be excluded and money or benefits are later awarded, you won't shar in those. But, you will keep any rights you may have to sue Des Moines Public Schools separately about the same legal claims in this lawsuit. To ask to be excluded, you must send a notification by mail asking to be excluded no later than 45 days from the date you received notice of it.

 

  • For further details about this class action, please read through the questions and answers provided in the next section of this notice. Additionally, feel free to contact Attorney Leonard Bates with the contract information provided at the bottom of this page.

Questions? Contact Attorney Leonard Bates at 515-883-2000, email lbates@newkirklaw.com, or mail your questions to 521 E. Locust Street, Suite 300, Des Moines, Iowa 50309, Class representative Keith Robinson resides at 1625 Garfield Ave. Des Moines, Iowa 50316.