Butler v. Home Depot, Inc.

Butler v. Home Depot, Inc. was a case brought by Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho along with co-counsel Lieff Cabraser Heimann & Bernstein on behalf of female employees and applicants for store positions with Home Depot’s Western Region.  In 1996, the United States District Court for the Northern District of California certified the case as a class action in an opinion reported at Butler v. Home Depot, Inc., 1996 WL 421436 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 25, 1996).  The case was subsequently settled for $87.5 million and extensive injunctive relief including a seven year compliance period in which Home Depot made significant changes to its personnel practices nationwide to ensure equal employment opportunities for all employees and to increase the number of women in sales and management positions.  In their chronicle of the success of the company, Built From Scratch, Bernie Marcus and Arthur Blank (Times Business 1999), the two founders of Home Depot, devote a chapter to the case.  In addition to acknowledging that Goldstein, Borgen, Dardarian & Ho was “extremely successful,” Marcus and Blank conclude, based on their experience with the case, that “companies today need to be aggressive and proactive in creating an all-inclusive environment because discrimination does exist.”