The opinion of the court was delivered by: George H. WU United States District Court Judge
Plaintiff U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC" or "Commission") and Defendant Sierra Aluminum Co. stipulate and agree to entry of this Consent Decree to resolve the Commission's complaint, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"). The Commission alleged that Charging Party Randy Romero ("Charging Party") was subjected to a sexually hostile work environment and unlawful retaliation for engaging in a protected activity.
II. PURPOSES AND SCOPE OF THE CONSENT DECREE
A. The parties to this Consent Decree ("Decree") are the EEOC and Sierra Aluminum Co. The scope of this Decree encompasses Sierra Aluminum Co.'s facilities. This Decree shall be binding on and enforceable against Sierra Aluminum Co. and its officers, directors, agents, successors and assigns.
B. The parties have entered into this Decree for the following purposes:
1. To provide appropriate monetary and injunctive relief;
2. To ensure that Sierra Aluminum Co.'s employment practices comply with federal law;
3. To ensure a work environment free from hostility and retaliation;
4. To ensure training for Sierra Aluminum Co.'s managers and employees with respect to their obligations under Title VII; and
5. To provide an appropriate and effective mechanism for addressing discrimination complaints in the workplace.
6. To require that Sierra Aluminum Co. maintain the injunctive relief implemented pursuant to the Consent Decree entered into by the parties to resolve the case of EEOC v. Sierra Aluminum Co., Case number 06-04158 PSG (CTx) (hereinafter referred to as the "2007 Consent Decree") for an additional six (6) month period.
This Decree resolves all claims the EEOC has brought or could have brought against Sierra Aluminum Co. arising out of this Complaint.
A. This Decree fully and completely resolves all issues, claims and allegations by the EEOC against Sierra Aluminum Co. that are raised in the Complaint filed in this action in the United States District Court, Central District of California on December 28, 2009, captioned U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sierra Aluminum Co., Case No. 09-cv-9463 GW (OPx) (the "Complaint"). The EEOC hereby releases Sierra Aluminum Co. with respect to any and all such claims.
B. Nothing in this Decree shall be construed to preclude any party from bringing suit to enforce this Decree in the event that any party fails to perform these promises and representations.
C. Nothing in this Decree shall be construed to limit or reduce Sierra Aluminum Co.'s obligation to comply fully with Title VII or any other federal employment statute.
D. This Decree in no way affects the EEOC's right to bring, process, investigate or litigate other charges that may be in existence or may later arise against Sierra Aluminum Co. in accordance with standard EEOC procedures.
A. The Court has jurisdiction over the parties and the subject matter of this lawsuit. The Complaint asserts claims that, if proven, would authorize the Court to grant the equitable relief set forth in this Decree. The terms and provisions of this Decree are fair, reasonable, and just. This Decree conforms with the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Title VII and is not in derogation of the rights or privileges of any person.
B. The Court shall retain jurisdiction of this action during the duration of the Decree for the purposes of entering all orders, judgments and decrees that may be necessary to implement the Decree's relief and any other relief the Court deems appropriate.
V. EFFECTIVE DATE AND DURATION OF DECREE
A. These provisions and agreements are effective immediately upon the date which this Decree is entered by the Court ("the Effective Date").
B. Except as otherwise provided, this Decree shall remain in effect for six (6) months after the Effective Date.
VI. NO ADMISSION OR DETERMINATION OF THE MERITS
This Consent Decree does not constitute and shall not be deemed to be an admission by any party about the merits of the allegations, claims or defense of any other party. By entering into this Consent Decree, Sierra Aluminum Company does not admit, but in fact denies, that it has violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended (42 U.S.C. 2000e, et seq.) and any other fair employment practice law.
VII. MODIFICATION AND SEVERABILITY
A. This Decree constitutes the complete understanding of the parties with respect to the matters in the Decree. No waiver, modification or amendment of any provision of this Decree will be effective unless made in writing and signed by an authorized representative of each of the parties.
B. If one or more provisions of the Decree are rendered unlawful or unenforceable, the parties shall make good faith efforts to agree upon appropriate amendments to this Decree in order to effectuate the purposes of the Decree. In any event, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect unless the purposes of the Decree cannot, despite the parties' best efforts, be achieved.
C. By mutual agreement of the parties, this Decree may be amended or modified in the interests of justice and fairness in order to effectuate the provisions of this Decree.
VIII. COMPLIANCE AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION
A. The parties expressly agree that if the Commission has reason to believe that Sierra Aluminum Co. has failed to comply with any provision of this Consent Decree, the Commission may bring an action before this Court to enforce the Decree. Prior to initiating such action, the Commission will notify Sierra Aluminum Co. and its legal counsel of record, in writing, of the nature of the dispute. This notice shall specify the particular provision(s) that the Commission believes Sierra Aluminum Co. has breached. Absent a showing that the delay will cause irreparable harm, Sierra Aluminum Co. shall have thirty (30) days to attempt to resolve or cure the breach.
B. The parties agree to cooperate with each other and use their best efforts to resolve any dispute referenced in the EEOC notice.
C. After thirty (30) days have passed with no resolution or agreement to extend the time further, the Commission may petition this Court for resolution of the dispute, seeking all available relief, including an extension of the term of the Decree for such period of time as Sierra Aluminum Co. is shown to be in breach of the Decree.
In settlement of this lawsuit, Sierra Aluminum Co. shall pay a total of $10,000.00 to resolve this action. The EEOC shall designate the $10,000.00 as compensatory damages. No tax withholding deductions shall be made with respect to the payment of the settlement proceeds. The Charging Party is responsible for taxes payable on the settlement proceeds.
A. Sierra Aluminum Co. shall forward, via certified mail, a check to the Charging Party within ten (10) days of the effective date of this Consent Decree. Sierra Aluminum Co. shall prepare and distribute 1099 tax reporting forms to Mr. Romero and shall make appropriate reports to the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. Within three (3) business days of the issuance the settlement check, Sierra Aluminum Co. shall submit a copy of each check and related correspondence to the Regional Attorney, Anna Y. Park, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, 255 East Temple Street, 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA 90012.
X. GENERAL INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
Sierra Aluminum Co., its officers, agents, management (including all supervisory employees), successors, assigns, and all those in active concert or participation with them, or any of them, hereby agree not to engage in, implement or permit any action, policy or practice with the purpose of retaliating against any current or former employee or applicant of Sierra Aluminum Co., or either of them, because he or she has in the past, or during the term of this Decree: (a) opposed any practice made unlawful under Title VII; (b) filed a charge of discrimination alleging such practice; (c) testified or participated in any manner in any investigation (including without limitation, any internal investigation undertaken by Sierra Aluminum Co.), proceeding in connection with this case and/or relating to any claim ...