Stockwell v. City & County of San Francisco, 2014 WL 1623736 (9th Cir. 2014)

In this putative class action, several San Francisco police officers over the age of 40 alleged that a new policy of the San Francisco Police Department abandoning an examination for consideration for promotion to Assistant Inspector worked a disparate impact upon them based on their age. The district court denied class certification, but the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed, holding that “the district court erred in denying class certification because of its legal error of evaluating merits questions, rather than focusing on whether the questions presented, whether meritorious or not, were common to the members of the putative class.” The Court concluded the officers had identified a “single, well-enunciated, uniform policy that, allegedly, generated all the disparate impact of which they complain.”