counsel and the papers submitted, the Court hereby DENIES defendant's motions.
This class action arises under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., and the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, Government Code §§ 12940 et seq. (FEHA). Plaintiffs -- female employees and applicants throughout Home Depot's West Coast Division -- allege gender discrimination by Home Depot in job assignments, transfers, training, promotions, and compensation. Plaintiffs allege that discrimination has occurred in the form of intentional discrimination and neutral employment practices which disparately impact female employees.
Home Depot has filed a motion to exclude the testimony of four of plaintiffs' expert witnesses at trial, pursuant to the Supreme Court's decision in Daubert v. Merrell Dow Pharmaceuticals, Inc., 509 U.S. 579, 125 L. Ed. 2d 469, 113 S. Ct. 2786 (1993). At issue in this motion is the testimony of the following witnesses:
(1) Dr. Mary Gentile, plaintiffs' designated expert in the fields of organizational diversity program design and implementation, who is prepared to testify as to how corporations can look for and correct diversity problems within their workforces and the extent to which Home Depot has failed to take such steps in implementing its diversity initiative;
(2) Professor Susan Fiske, plaintiffs' designated expert in the fields of social psychology, social relations, and stereotyping, who is prepared to testify as to the role of gender stereotyping in Home Depot's hiring, placement, and promotion patterns and the organizational means by which gender stereotyping may be controlled;
(3) Dr. William Bielby, plaintiffs' designated expert in the fields of sociology, social psychology, and organizational behavior, who is prepared to testify as to the following alleged features of Home Depot's personnel system -- (a) a male-dominated culture that defines separate and unequal roles for women and men, (b) arbitrary and subjective criteria for hiring, assignment, training, assessment of qualifications, and promotion which give free play to the influence of gender stereotypes and biases held by predominantly male management teams, and (c) management's failure to utilize factors that could control the effects of stereotyping and biased decision-making; and
(4) Dr. Carl Hoffman, plaintiffs' designated expert in statistics, survey research, and job interests, who is prepared to testify as to the proper means of assessing the job interests of Home Depot's female applicants and employees, the inadequacies of the informal methods used by Home Depot, and the adverse impact that Home Depot's weightlifting requirement may have on women.
Home Depot argues that the testimony of these witnesses is unreliable as a matter of science and irrelevant to the issues at hand.
Federal Rule of Evidence 702 provides that:
If scientific, technical, or other specialized knowledge will assist the trier of fact to understand the evidence or to determine a fact in issue, a witness qualified as an expert by knowledge, skill, experience, training, or education, may testify thereto in the form of an opinion or otherwise.