University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. H.N. McElroy and Harris County EE-TX-0428
Docket / Court H00-1617 ( S.D. Tex. )
State/Territory Texas
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 May 12th, 2000, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. against H.N. McElroy, the Harris County Justice of the Peace, and Harris County in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The DOJ sought ... read more >
On May 12th, 2000, the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq. against H.N. McElroy, the Harris County Justice of the Peace, and Harris County in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas. The DOJ sought injunctive relief and demanded a trial by jury, alleging that the defendant violated Title VII by discriminating against employees on the basis of their race and sex.

The alleged discrimination occurred against a black female formerly employed in the office of the Harris County Justice of the Peace, and similarly situated black females. This discrimination took the form of subjecting them to sexual harassment that adversely affected the terms, conditions, and privileges of their employment, and failing or refusing to take appropriate action to remedy the discriminatory treatment. Furthermore, the complaint states that the defendant discriminated against the black female by constructively discharging her.

Her motion to intervene having been granted, the intervenor filed her complaint on October 10th, 2000, although this document is not available. On March 6th, 2002, the court (Lynn N. Hughes) referred the case for mediation.

A consent decree between the United States and the defendant was entered on April 30th, 2002. The decree listed specific individual relief in the form of monetary compensation. It also outlined general injunctive relief, including the prohibition against sexual harassment and retaliation. According to the decree, the JP 4-1 must adopt a JP 4-1 anti-sexual harassment and anti-retaliation policy and procedures no later than forty-five days after entry of the decree. This policy must include the name(s) and telephone number(s) of each official designated by the JP 4-1 and Harris County to receive sexual harassment complaints, and a statement that the supervisors shall take complaints seriously. The policy must also state that a supervisor who is aware or should have been aware of sexual harassment against an employee but fails to report it to the Harris County official designated for such complaints shall be subject to discipline up to and including dismissal. Furthermore, the policy must be distributed to all current and future employees; with five days of receipt of the policy, each employee must sign an acknowledgment that s/he has read and understood it, and this acknowledgment must be placed in each employee's personnel file. The defendants must also provide sexual harassment training, and retain for the duration of the decree all records necessary to monitor its implementation.

The court (Lynn N. Hughes) retained jurisdiction for a period of one year from the date of the consent decree.

On May 10th, 2002, the court (Lynn N. Hughes) granted the motion to dismiss the case with prejudice.

Jennifer Hau - 10/29/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Defendant-type
Law-enforcement
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) County of Harris
Plaintiff Description United States, on behalf of a former black female employee
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 Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2002 - 2003
Case Closing Year 2002
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)
4:00-cv-01617 (S.D. Tex.) 05/10/2002
EE-TX-0428-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Complaint 05/12/2000
EE-TX-0428-0002.pdf | External Link | Detail
Mediation Order 03/07/2002 (S.D. Tex.)
EE-TX-0428-0004.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree 04/30/2002
EE-TX-0428-0001.pdf | External Link | Detail
Judges Hughes, Lynn Nettleton (S.D. Tex.)
EE-TX-0428-0001 | EE-TX-0428-0004 | EE-TX-0428-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Boyd, Ralph F. Jr. (District of Columbia)
EE-TX-0428-0001
Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)
EE-TX-0428-0001 | EE-TX-0428-0002
Leggott, Charles E. (District of Columbia)
EE-TX-0428-0001 | EE-TX-0428-0002 | EE-TX-0428-9000
Mosbacker, Mervyn Milton Jr. (Texas)
EE-TX-0428-0002 | EE-TX-0428-9000
Sinderson, Mary L. (Texas)
EE-TX-0428-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Adams, J. Kent (Texas)
EE-TX-0428-0001
Aldis, Jay R (Texas)
EE-TX-0428-9000
Turner, Bobby Nick (Texas)
EE-TX-0428-0001 | EE-TX-0428-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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