Race Discrimination in the Steel Industry


Goodman v. Lukens Steel Co.

In 1973, we also filed a lawsuit on behalf of African American employees at Lukens Steel Company, a major employer in Chester County at the time, alleging discrimination both by Lukens and by the steelworkers’ unions, which refused to file grievances for racial discrimination and harassment. Law Center Board Member William H. Ewing led a team at the law firm Epstein Connolly in litigating the case.

After a decade of pretrial litigation, we secured a ruling in 1984 in federal court that both Lukens and the unions had illegally discriminated against African American employees. The case was then appealed all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court on a question about statutes of limitations. The Supreme Court ruled in Lukens favor, which limited monetary damages, but upheld the claims against the unions as well as orders to stop discriminatory practices. Ultimately, the case secured $4.3 million in damages for our clients.