University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States of America v. City of Cairo, Illinois EE-IL-0261
Docket / Court 05-4037-JLF ( S.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On March 3, 2005, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII") in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against the City of Cairo, Illinois ("the City"). The D.O.J. asked the court for ... read more >
On March 3, 2005, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. ("Title VII") in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois against the City of Cairo, Illinois ("the City"). The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and monetary relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against Luettha Watkins ("Watkins") on the basis of sex.

The complaint alleged that the City had discriminated against Watkins, who was formerly employed as a part-time communications dispatcher in the City's police department, on the basis of her sex, female, in violation of Title VII, by subjecting Watkins to sexual harassment that included: (1) creating or maintaining a hostile work environment based on sex that adversely affected the terms, conditions and privileges of Watkins's employment; and (2) denying Watkins promotion to a full-time communications dispatcher position and discharging her from a part-time communications dispatcher position because she refused to accede to her supervisor's requests for sexual favors; and (3) failing or refusing to take appropriate action to remedy the effects of the discriminatory treatment of Watkins.

On August 28, 2006, the district court (James L. Foreman) entered a consent decree ordering that: (1) the City shall offer to pay a total monetary award of $20,000.00, including backpay and compensatory damages; (2) the City will not provide negative employment references for Watkins to any future prospective employer; (3) the City shall modify its anti-discrimination policies and procedures that prohibit sex discrimination under Title VII; and (4) the City shall provide mandatory training on the law of equal employment opportunity and prohibited discrimination based on sex to all supervisory employees in the City's police department.

The case is closed.

Hyun Jeong Yang - 11/28/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Race, unspecified
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) City of Cairo
Plaintiff Description United States on behalf of a female part-time communication dispatcher, discriminated on the basis of sex.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Mixed
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Written: Mar. 01, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
4:05−cv−04037 (S.D. Ill.) 08/14/2007
EE-IL-0261-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 03/03/2005
EE-IL-0261-0002.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree 08/28/2006
EE-IL-0261-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Foreman, James L. (E.D. Ill., S.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0261-0001 | EE-IL-0261-9000
Wilkerson, Donald G. (S.D. Ill.) [Magistrate]
EE-IL-0261-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blutter, Sarah C (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0261-9000
Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0261-0002 | EE-IL-0261-9000
Moon, Wonkee (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0261-9000
Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0261-0002 | EE-IL-0261-9000
Rao, Sonya A (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0261-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Cox, Patrick J. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0261-9000
McIntyre, Alan W. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0261-9000
O'Shea, Michael P. Jr.. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0261-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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