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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Ahmc Garfield Medical Center Lp Dba Garfield Medical Center

November 8, 2011

U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
AHMC GARFIELD MEDICAL CENTER LP DBA GARFIELD MEDICAL CENTER, INC, AND DOES 1-10, INCLUSIVE, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: The Honorable George H. King U.S. District Court Judge

Anna Y. Park, SBN 16424 Derek W. Li, SBN 150122 UNITED STATES EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION 255 East Temple Street, 4th Floor Los Angeles, CA 90012 FILED: 11/22/11 Telephone: (213) 894-1716 Facsimile: (213) 894-1301 E-Mail: lado.legal@eeoc.gov Attorneys for Plaintiff UNITED STATES EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION Stuart W. Rudnick, SBN 073908 Alyce Rubinfeld, SBN 109748 Musick, Peeler and Garrett LLP One Wilshire Boulevard, Suite 2000 Los Angeles, CA 90017 Telephone: (213) 629-7600 Facsimile: (213) 624-1376 E-Mail: s.rudnick@mpglaw.com Attorneys for Defendant AHMC GARFIELD MEDICAL CENTER LP dba Garfield Medical Center

JS-6

[PROPOSED] CONSENT DECREE

I.

INTRODUCTION

Plaintiff United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC" or "Commission") and Defendant AHMC Garfield Medical Center LP, a California limited partnership, dba Garfield Medical Center ("Medical Center"), agree to entry of this Consent Decree ("Decree") to resolve the Commission's Second Amended Complaint, filed under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. ("Title VII"). The Complaint alleges that Charging Party and other similarly situated individuals (collectively referred to as "Claimants") were subjected to unlawful employment practices because of sex (female), constructively discharged, and retaliated against in violation of Sections 703(a) and 704(a) of Title VII.

II.

PURPOSES AND SCOPE OF THE CONSENT DECREE

A. The Parties to this Decree are the EEOC and the Medical Center (collectively, "Parties"). This Decree shall be binding on and enforceable against Medical Center, its management (including all managerial or supervisory employees), agents, successors and assigns.

B. The Parties have entered into this Decree in order to:

1. Provide appropriate monetary and injunctive relief;

2. Ensure that Medical Center's employment practices comply with Title VII;

3. Ensure a work environment free from sexual/sex-based discrimination, harassment and retaliation;

4. Ensure training for all Medical Center employees, including managers, supervisors, leads, and human resources employees with respect to their obligations and rights under Title VII;

5. Provide an appropriate and effective mechanism for receiving and handling discrimination, harassment, and retaliation complaints in the workplace.

C. AHMC Healthcare Inc. ("AHMC") provides various management services to Medical Center, including services related to human resources administration and equal employment opportunity obligations. Medical Center agrees to and shall require AHMC to comply with certain delineated terms of this Decree as expressly set forth below. While not a party to the underlying suit, AHMC agrees to be bound by the injunctive relief terms of this Decree that are specifically applicable to AHMC.

D. This Decree is intended to resolve disputed claims and is not an adjudication or finding that Medical Center violated Title VII or any other federal employment statute. This Decree shall not be construed in any way as an admission of any liability on Medical Center's part.

III.

RELEASE OF CLAIMS

A. This Decree completely and finally resolves all claims made in the EEOC's Second Amended Complaint filed in the United States District Court, Central District of California on October 15, 2010, in the action captioned U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. AHMC Garfield Medical Center LP dba Garfield Medical Center, Inc. and DOES 1-10, Inclusive; Case No. 10-CV-06179-GHK(FMOx) (hereafter "Action").

B. Nothing in this Decree shall be construed to preclude the EEOC from bringing suit to enforce this Decree in the event that Medical Center fails to comply with the applicable terms of the Decree.

C. Nothing in this Decree shall be construed to limit or reduce Medical Center'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 Medical Center, in accordance with standard EEOC procedures.

IV.

JURISDICTION

A. The Court has jurisdiction over the Parties and the subject matter of this Action. The First Amended Complaint asserts claims that, if proven, would authorize the Court to grant the 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 does not derogate the rights or privileges of any person.

B. The Court shall retain jurisdiction over this Action for the duration of the Decree for the purposes of entering all orders, judgments and decrees that may be necessary to fully implement the relief provided herein.

V.

EFFECTIVE DATE AND DURATION OF DECREE

A. The provisions and agreements contained herein are effective immediately on the date which this Decree is entered by the Court ("Effective Date").

B. The Decree shall remain in effect for three (3) years after the Effective Date and will expire on its own terms, unless the EEOC consents to terminate the Decree after two years (as set forth below) or the Court grants an extension upon motion by the EEOC.

C. If Medical Center demonstrates compliance with the Decree for a period of two years, the Decree may be terminated with the consent of the EEOC. Although consent shall not be unreasonably withheld, whether or not compliance has been demonstrated is a matter to be determined by the EEOC in its sole discretion.

VI.

DECREE ENFORCEMENT

A. If the Commission has reason to believe that Medical Center has failed to comply with any applicable provision of the Decree, the Commission shall notify Medical Center, and its attorney of record, in writing, of the nature of the dispute. This notice shall specify the particular provision(s) of the Decree that the Commission believes has/have been breached and the facts or allegations upon which the Commission bases its belief. Absent a showing that the delay will cause irreparable harm, Medical Center shall have thirty (30) days from the date of notice ("Dispute Resolution Period") to attempt to comply or cure the breach.

B. The Parties agree to cooperate with each other and use their best efforts to resolve any dispute raised by the Commission.

C. Should Medical Center fail to cure the breach to the Commission's satisfaction within the Dispute Resolution Period, Commission may bring a motion before this Court to enforce the Decree.

D. Where there is a showing that a Dispute Resolution Period will cause irreparable harm, the Commission may immediately initiate an enforcement action in this Court, seeking all available relief, including an extension of the duration of the Decree.

VII.

MODIFICATION AND SEVERABILITY

A. This Decree constitutes the complete understanding of the Parties with respect to the matters contained herein. No waiver, modification or amendment of any provision of this Decree shall be effective unless made in writing and signed by an authorized representative of each Party.

B. If one or more provisions of this Decree are rendered unlawful or unenforceable, the Parties shall make good faith efforts to agree upon the appropriate amendments to this Decree necessary to effectuate its purposes. If the parties are unable to reach agreement, the Court shall order the appropriate alternative provisions necessary to effectuate the purpose of the Decree. In any such event, the remaining provisions will remain in full force and effect.

VIII.

MONETARY RELIEF

A. Settlement Sum

In settlement of all claims that were made, or could have been made, in this Action, Medical Center shall pay a total of $530,000 ("Settlement Sum"). Of this, $430,000 will be distributed to currently identified Claimants. The remaining $100,000 will be allocated to a class fund ("Class Fund"), for payment to as-yet to be identified Claimants ("Prospective Claimants"). Allocation of the Settlement Sum to be paid to each Claimant shall be at the sole discretion of the EEOC.

B. Payments to Currently Identified Claimants

Following the Effective Date, the EEOC shall provide Medical Center with a list ("Distribution List") containing the name, address, and amount of money to be distributed to each currently identified Claimant. Within twenty (20) business days of the delivery of the Distribution List and IRS Form W-9s, Medical Center shall send, via certified mail, a check to each of the currently identified Claimants in amounts designated by the EEOC.

C. Establishing the Class Fund

1. Within ninety (90) days of the Effective Date, Medical Center shall deposit money into the Class Fund escrow account as required by this Decree. Within ten (10) business days after such deposit, Medical Center shall provide the EEOC with written verification of the funding.

2. The Class Fund shall be used to make payments to Prospective Claimants who timely submit claims and whom the EEOC determines to be eligible to receive monetary relief in this Action.

D. Notice to Prospective Claimants/Claims Process

1. Within thirty (30) days of the Effective Date, Medical Center shall forward to the EEOC a list (Prospective Claimant List) containing the names, date of birth, most current last known addresses, telephone numbers, social security number, and any forwarding employment information for the following individuals:

(a) Current and former female Medical Center Admitting Department employees (non supervisory) who were employed during the period beginning December 4, 2006 and ending February 2, 2009 ("Relevant Time Period").

(b) Current and former female Medical Center employees who worked as triage nurses and emergency room technicians in (or in close proximity to) the Admitting Department's emergency room admitting area during the Relevant Time Period.

(c) Current and former female housekeepers who were employed by a contract service provider and who worked during the Relevant Time Period as housekeepers in (or the vicinity of) the main or emergency room admitting areas, provided that Medical Center is able to obtain the names of such persons from the contract service provider and addresses for such persons. The Medical Center shall in good faith use its best efforts to obtain such names and addresses from the contract service provider and such efforts shall be described in its initial report to be submitted to the EEOC as set forth below.

2. Within sixty (60) days of the Effective Date, Medical Center shall send to each individual identified in the Prospective Claimant List a notice and questionnaire. The notice shall inform each Prospective Claimant of the Action, the existence of a Class Fund, eligibility criteria, procedures for making a claim and EEOC contact information. For any notice and questionnaire returned as undeliverable, Medical Center shall make reasonable efforts to find an alternative address through a database search and resend the notice.

3. Within 180 days of the Effective Date, the EEOC shall evaluate all claims submitted by Prospective Claimants, make a determination as to the Prospective Claimant's eligibility, and forward to Medical Center a list ("Class Distribution List") containing the names, mailing addresses, and the amount of money from the Class Fund to be distributed to the persons whose names appear on the list ("Eligible Claimants"). The EEOC has the sole discretion in determining Claimant eligibility. The EEOC also has sole discretion to determine any monetary amount allocated from the Class Fund to any Eligible Claimant. ...


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