University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Langston University, The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma State University and Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges EE-OK-0048
Docket / Court 5:06-CV-00185 ( W.D. Okla. )
State/Territory Oklahoma
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 February 22nd, 2006, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., against Langston University in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant ... read more >
On February 22nd, 2006, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit under Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e et seq., against Langston University in the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma. The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant violating Title VII by discriminating against a white female professor on the basis of her race.

The DOJ alleged that the discrimination against the employee took the form of paying her lower wages than other similarly situated African and African-American employees and failing or refusing to take appropriate action to remedy the effects of the discriminatory treatment.

On February 27th, 2006, the Court (Judge David L. Russell) entered a Consent Decree, which ordered general injunctive relief, such as the prohibition of discrimination on the basis of race and retaliation, as well as specific injunctive relief including an increase in salary, and a fair, objective, non-retaliatory and nondiscriminatory consideration for positions. The Court retained jurisdiction of the matters covered by the Consent Decree for two years. The decree would expire within one year of its entry without further order of the Court.

It appears, however, that the intervenor found the terms of the Consent Decree inadequate. On the same day of the entry of the decree, the action was terminated without prejudice.

Having then been granted the motion to intervene, the complainant filed her own complaint on April 14, 2006, which recapitulates in further detail the alleged discrimination. These grievances include the defendant's failure to advertise the position of Chair of the Department of English, the appointment of a lesser qualified African-American to Chair from outside the English Department, requesting the intervenor to perform the majority of the Chair's duties and responsibilities, retaliating against the intervenor by removing her from the office space she had occupied for fourteen years, the withholding, without justification or good cause, of the intervenor's compensation earned for summer teaching responsibilities, and lower compensation in comparison to African-Americans. The intervenor complaint also states that the plaintiff has suffered and continues to suffer emotional and mental distress, harm to professional reputation, humiliation, embarrassment, economic loss, and loss of enjoyment of life.

On April 16th, 2007, an amended complaint alleged all of the above, and additionally, detailed another charge of retaliation. The complaint stated that the intervenor was continually discriminated against as a result of filing a Charge of Discrimination, i.e. objectionable and offensive treatment by the President, Vice-Presidents, and the Office of Human Resources, a prolonged and bureaucratic delay in obtaining the approval of the donation of medical leave to her husband, and the omission of her salary and salary schedules from the budget for fiscal years 2003-2007.

On August 9th, 2007, the court ordered a settlement conference set for September 11, 2007, at which an apparent settlement was reached. The settlement agreement resulting from the conference is unavailable. However, the action was administratively terminated without prejudice to the rights of the parties to reopen for entry of any stipulation or order, and terminated with prejudice if not reopened within 45 days.

On October 25, 2007, the intervenor filed a motion to clarify and/or strike the settlement agreement, and further moved the court to extend the time of the administrative closing order. In the motion, the intervenor states that she had received incorrect information about the unused leave she had accumulated throughout her tenure at Langston University, which she relied upon in settling the matter. On December 26, 2007, the court (Judge David L. Russell) granted the motion for extension of administrative closing order.

The parties reached a settlement agreement in which the plaintiff was to receive $183,240.00 in lump sum payments, of which $69,376.36 would go the plaintiff's attorneys. She would continue to work for 2007-08 academic year with the same pay as before, and then provided with a paid sabbatical. Her unusued sick leave would be exhausted, but she still could use up to five, and possibly five more, sick leaves for 2007-08 year. The university also agreed to pay short-term disability payments to the plaintiff's husband, also employed at the university.

On April 22, 2008, the defendant filed a motion to enforce the settlement agreement but the parties reached a private settlement before the motion was argued. This case is now closed.

Jennifer Hau - 10/29/2007
Zhandos Kuderin - 07/17/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Reasonable Accommodation
Retaliation Prohibition
Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria
Defendant-type
College/University
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Race
White
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) The Board of Regents for the Oklahoma State University and Agricultural and Mechanical Colleges
Plaintiff Description United States, on behalf of white female professor.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Unknown
Source of Relief Litigation
Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2006 - 2008
Case Closing Year 2008
Case Ongoing Unknown
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)
5:06-cv-00185-R (W.D. Okla.) 05/07/2008
EE-OK-0048-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 02/22/2006
EE-OK-0048-0001 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 02/27/2006
EE-OK-0048-0002 PDF | Detail
Intervenor Complaint 04/14/2006 (2007 WL 1995568)
EE-OK-0048-0003 PDF | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervenor Amended Complaint 04/16/2007
EE-OK-0048-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Motion to Clarify and/or Modify Settlement Agreement 10/25/2007
EE-OK-0048-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant's Motion and Brief to Enforce Settlement and Request for a Hearing Before the Court 04/22/2008
EE-OK-0048-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Intervening Plaintiff's Response to Defendant's Motion and Brief to Enforce Settlement and Request for Hearing 04/29/2008
EE-OK-0048-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Russell, David Lynn (E.D. Okla., N.D. Okla., W.D. Okla.)
EE-OK-0048-0002 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Brockman, Scott F (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0003 | EE-OK-0048-0004 | EE-OK-0048-0005 | EE-OK-0048-0007 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Glass, Woodrow K (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0003 | EE-OK-0048-0004 | EE-OK-0048-0005 | EE-OK-0048-0007 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Leggott, Charles E. (District of Columbia)
EE-OK-0048-0001 | EE-OK-0048-0002 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-OK-0048-0001 | EE-OK-0048-0002 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Roth, Christine M. (District of Columbia)
EE-OK-0048-0001 | EE-OK-0048-0002 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Thomas, Scott K. (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0007
Tomlin, A. Craig (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0003 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Ward, Stanley M (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0003 | EE-OK-0048-0004 | EE-OK-0048-0005 | EE-OK-0048-0007 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Fern, Michael Scott (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0006
Gooch, Ambre C (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0006 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Lee, David W (Oklahoma)
EE-OK-0048-0006 | EE-OK-0048-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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