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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Tucoemas Federal Credit Union

United States District Court, E.D. California

December 12, 2019

U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
TUCOEMAS FEDERAL CREDIT UNION, Defendant.

          Anna Y. Park, CA SBN 164242 Sue J. Noh, CAS BN 192134 Rumduol Vuong, CA SBN 264392 U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, James R. Mugridge, CA SBN 292803 U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION Attorneys for Plaintiff U.S. EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

          CONSENT DECREE; PROPOSED ORDER

          The Honorable Anthony W. Ishii, United States District Court Judge

         Plaintiff U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (the "EEOC" or "Plaintiff) and Defendant Tucoemas Federal Credit Union, ("Tucoemas" or "Defendant") hereby stipulate' and agree to entry of this Consent Decree (the "Decree") to fully and finally resolve Plaintiffs complaint against Defendant in U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Tucoemas-Federal Credit Union; Case No. 1:19-cv-00986-AWI-SKO (the "Action"). On July 17, 2019, Plaintiff filed this Action in the United States District Court, Eastern District of California, for violations of Title VII, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq., and the Age Discrimination in Employment Act ("ADEA"), 29 U.S.C. § 621 et, seq. The Action alleges that Defendant discriminated against Charging Parties Cindy Summers, Sherry Belcher, and Cynthia Seymour (collectively the "Claimants") on the basis of gender and age, and retaliated against Charging Parties Sherry Belcher and Cynthia Seymour for having filed a charge of discrimination.

         II.

         PURPOSES AND SCOPE OF THE CONSENT DECREE

         A. The Decree is made and entered into by and between the EEOC and Defendant and shall be binding on and enforceable against Defendant, as well as its officers, directors, agents, successors and assigns. Collectively, the EEOC and Defendant are referred to herein as the "Parties."

         B. The Parties have entered into this Decree for the following purposes: To achieve a final resolution of the above entitled contested matter and avoid the expense of protracted litigation and the uncertainty of outcomes associated with any contested litigation.

         C. The scope of this Decree includes the following:

1. Monetary and injunctive relief; and
2. To reaffirm the Defendant's commitment to (i) effecting employment practices in compliance with federal law; (ii) ensuring a work environment free from discrimination and retaliation; (iii) ensuring training for, Defendant's employees with respect to the pertinent laws regarding sex discrimination, age discrimination, and retaliation; and (iv) ensuring appropriate recording keeping, reporting, and monitoring as set forth more particularly below.

         C. This Decree will be implemented by Defendant on a company-wide basis.

         D. The Court shall retain jurisdiction over this matter for the duration of this Consent Decree.

         III.

         RELEASE OF CLAIMS

         A. This Decree folly and completely resolves all issues, claims and allegations that were or could have been raised by the EEOC against Defendant in this Action.

         B. Nothing in this Decree shall be construed to limit or reduce Defendant's obligation to comply fully with Title VII, the ADEA, or any other federal employment statute.

         C. Nothing in this Decree shall be construed to preclude the EEOC from bringing suit to enforce this Decree in the event that any party fails to perform the promises and representations contained herein.

         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 Defendant in accordance with standard EEOC procedures with the exception of any other charges arising from or related to the selection process for the CEO position in 2017.

         IV.

         JURISDICTION

         A. The Court has jurisdiction over the Parties and the subject matter of this litigation. See 42 U.S.C. §§ 2000e-5(f)(1) and (3); 29 U.S.C. § 626(b). The Action 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, the ADEA, 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 relief provided herein.

         V.

         EFFECTIVE DATE AND DURATION OF DECREE

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

         B. Except as otherwise provided herein, this Decree shall remain in effect for three (3) years after the Effective Date. If, after when the decree has been in effect for two years, Defendant has conducted all required training, has provided all documents required to be produced to the Monitor, has implemented an age and sex discrimination policy that complies with the law and the terms of this decree, and has had no meritorious claims of age or sex discrimination alleged against it during the term of the Decree, the Decree shall terminate. The EEOC shall determine whether a claim of discrimination is meritorious. If the Commission determines that a claim is meritorious and Defendant disputes that finding, the Monitor shall resolve the dispute. The Monitor's determination shall be final and not subject to review for purposes of determining the two or three year duration of this Consent Decree pursuant to this Paragraph only.

         VI.

         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 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 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 herein.

         VII.

         COMPLIANCE AND DISPUTE RESOLUTION

         A. The Parties expressly agree that if the EEOC has reason to believe that Defendant has failed to comply with any provision of this Consent Decree, the EEOC may bring an action before this Court to enforce the Decree. Prior to initiating such action, the EEOC will notify Defendant and/or its/their legal counsel of record, in writing, of the nature of the dispute. This notice shall specify the particular provision(s) that the EEOC believes Defendant breached. Unless the EEOC determines that the delay will cause irreparable harm, Defendant shall have thirty (30) days to attempt to resolve or cure any non-monetary breach and shall have five (5) days to attempt to resolve or cure-any monetary 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 respect to any non-monetary breach, or five (5) days have passed with respect to any monetary breach, if the Parties have reached no resolution or agreement to extend the time further, the EEOC may petition this Court for resolution of the dispute, seeking all available relief, including an extension of the term of the Decree, the EEOC's costs and any attorneys' fees incurred in securing compliance with the Decree, and/or any other relief the court deems appropriate.

         VIII.

         MONETARY RELIEF

         A. Defendant will pay a total of $450, 000.00("Gross Sum") to resolve this Action. The Commission has full and complete discretion under the terms of this Decree to allocate the Gross Sum between the Claimants. The EEOC has full and complete discretion under the terms of this Decree to determine the characterization of such payments as income, wages or otherwise, as hereinafter described in this Decree. The Commission will advise Defendant of the allocation within ten (10) days of the entry of the Consent Decree of the allocation of funds and the characterization of such payments. The EEOC will inform Defendants of the designation of compensation. For payment of claims characterized as wages, Defendant shall be responsible for its portion of the FIT A and FUTA contributions and shall generate a W-2 tax form. For payments to the claimants characterized as non-wage compensation, no tax. withholding shall be made. Defendants shall prepare and distribute a 1099 tax reporting form to each eligible claimant and shall make any appropriate reports to the Internal Revenue Service and other tax authorities. The 1099 forms will be issued as in the ordinary course of business. Defendant shall be solely responsible for any costs associated with the issuance and distribution of W-2 and 1099 tax reporting forms to the eligible claimants.

         B. Within seven (7) days of the Commission's notice of allocation and characterization of funds to Defendant, Defendant shall issue settlement checks consistent with the notice.

         C. Within three (3) business days of the issuance of the settlement checks, Defendant shall submit a copy of the check, tax reporting forms, and related correspondence to Anna Y. Park, Regional Attorney, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Los Angeles District Office, 255 East Temple Street, 4th Floor, Los Angeles, CA, 90012.

         IX.

         GENERAL INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

         A. Non-Discrimination:

         Defendant, including all managerial employees, and all those in active concert or participation with them, are hereby enjoined from discriminating against persons on the basis of sex or age in the terms and conditions of employment.

         B. Retaliation:

         Defendant, including all managerial employees, and all those in active concert or participation with them, or any of them, are hereby enjoined from implementing or permitting any action, policy or practice with the purpose of retaliating against any current or former employee or applicant of Defendant, because he or she has in the past, or during the term of this Decree:

1. Opposed any practice made unlawful under Title VII or the ADEA;
2. Filed a charge of discrimination alleging such practice;
3. Participated in any manner in an internal or external investigation or proceeding relating to this case or any claim of a violation of Title VII or the ADEA;
4. Was identified as a possible witness or claimant in this ...

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