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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Goodwill Industries of the Greater East Bay, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California, Oakland Division

May 9, 2018

U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF THE GREATER EAST BAY, INC., CALIDAD INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendants.

          U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION ROBERTA L. STEELE Regional Attorney, San Francisco District Office For Plaintiff EEOC

          GOODWILL OF THE GREATER EAST BAY, INC Jim Caponigro For Defendant Goodwill, CALIDAD INDUSTRIES, INC Jim Caponigro For Defendant Calidad

          [PROPOSED] CONSENT DECREE

          HON. YVONNE GONZALEZ ROGERS U.S. DISTRICT COURT JUDGE

         Plaintiff U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought this lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended, and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991, to correct unlawful employment practices on the basis of sex, retaliation and disability, and to provide appropriate relief to charging parties Phyllis Sloan, Carla Fuller, Stephanie League, Ann Burton, Lisa Short, Doward Washington, and Raynesha McGhee-Reed and aggrieved employees Crystal Edwards, Lucy Tyson, James Blaylock, and Alicia Candies who were adversely affected by such practices. The EEOC alleged that Defendants GOODWILL INDUSTRIES OF THE GREATER EAST BAY, INC. (Goodwill) and CALIDAD INDUSTRIES, INC. (Calidad) subjected the charging parties and similarly situated aggrieved employees to sexual harassment; retaliated against Lisa Short and Doward Washington based on their participation in internal and external investigations of sexual harassment, resulting in Lisa Short's constructive discharge; and, subjected charging parties and similarly situated aggrieved employees to different terms and conditions of employment based on disability which resulted in a denial of fair payment for work performed. In addition, the EEOC alleged that Defendants further violated the ADA by commingling medical records with employee personnel records thereby failing to keep the medical records confidential. Defendants deny all claims.

         In the interest of resolving this matter the EEOC, Goodwill and Calidad (hereinafter referred to as “the Parties”) have agreed that the above-captioned lawsuit (the “Lawsuit”) should be finally resolved by entry of this Consent Decree and without further contested litigation.

         The Court has reviewed this Consent Decree in light of the pleadings, the record herein, and the applicable law, and now approves this Consent Decree.

         THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:

         I. GENERAL PROVISIONS

         This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter and the Parties to this Lawsuit. This Court will retain jurisdiction over this Decree for all purposes until the expiration of Defendants' obligations as set forth herein.

         This Consent Decree comprises the full and final resolution of all claims pled in the Complaint in this action and constitutes a complete resolution of all claims of discrimination that were made or could have been made by the EEOC arising out of the following EEOC Charges of Discrimination:

555-2012-13896 Phyllis Newells v. Calidad Ind./Goodwill Ind.
555-2012-13897 Carla Fuller v. Calidad Ind./Goodwill Ind.
555-2012-13898 Stephanie League v. Calidad Ind./Goodwill Ind.
555-2012-13905 Ann Burton v. Calidad Ind./Goodwill Ind.
555-2012-14024 Lisa Short v. Calidad Ind./Goodwill Ind.
555-2013-00207 Doward Washington v. Calidad Ind./Goodwill Ind.
555-2013-00280 Raynesha McGhee-Reed v. Calidad Ind./Goodwill Ind.

         This Consent Decree does not, however, resolve any future charge or charges that are not identified above and may be pending with the EEOC.

         No waiver, modification or amendment of any provision of this Consent Decree shall be effective unless made in writing and approved by the Parties to this Decree, and any substantive change, modification or amendment of any provision of this Consent Decree shall also require approval by the Court.

         This Consent Decree is not an adjudication or a finding on the merits of this lawsuit.

         This Consent Decree is final and binding.

         The Parties will each bear their own costs and attorney's fees in this action.

         II. GENERAL INJUNCTIVE RELIEF: NON-DISCRIMINATION

         Defendants and their officers, agents, employees, and successors and assigns at the time that this Decree becomes effective, are enjoined from engaging in any of the following unlawful conduct: (a) discriminating against or harassing any employee based on sex; (b) retaliating against any person because he or she opposes or opposed discriminatory practices made unlawful by Title VII; (c) discriminating against any employee based on disability; and (d) failing to segregate and safeguard the confidentiality of employee medical records. Defendants will provide prior written notice to any potential purchaser of Defendants' businesses, or a purchaser of all or a portion of Defendants' assets, and to any other potential successor, of the Commission's lawsuit, the allegations raised in the Commission's complaint, and the existence and contents of this Consent Decree.

         III. SPECIFIC INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

         A. POLICIES

         Within ninety (90) days of entry of this Consent Decree, Defendants shall develop written policies and procedures as described below. These policies and procedures shall be provided to the EEOC for review and comment no later than thirty (30) days prior to implementation. Within fourteen (14) days of receipt, the EEOC will advise Defendants of any needed changes. Defendants will thereafter incorporate the policies and procedures into the employee handbook.

         1. EEO Policies - Defendants shall review and revise their written policies and procedures prohibiting harassment and discrimination on the basis of sex and disability and retaliation for complaining about, reporting or otherwise opposing such harassment and discrimination. The policies and procedures will state that they have been promulgated at the direction of and endorsement by the highest level of management. Defendants shall, in consultation with a vocational rehabilitation or other expert, revise their EEO policies so that they are written in plain and simple language and can be ...


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