University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States of America v. State of Ohio Environmental Protection Agency EE-OH-0088
Docket / Court 05-CV-799 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On August 26, 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 United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The complaint was filed against the State of Ohio, Ohio Environmental Protection ... read more >
On August 26, 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 United States District Court for the Southern District of Ohio. The complaint was filed against the State of Ohio, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, Ohio Department of Administrative Services, Ohio State Employee Relations Board ("SERB"), Ohio Civil Service Employees Association ("OCSEA"), AFSCME Local 11, and the AFL-CIO. The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and compensatory relief alleging that the defendant's had violated Title VII by discriminating against an employee of the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency by discriminating on the basis of religion and failing to reasonably accommodate the religious observances, practices, and beliefs of certain State employees who are subject to its collective bargaining agreement(s) with Ohio.



Specifically, the complaint alleges that the defendants violated Title VII by: (1) failing or refusing to reasonably accommodate the religious observances, practices, and beliefs of those State employees who hold sincere religious objections to associating with and financially supporting employee organizations such as OCSEA, but who are not members and adherents of religions that historically have held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting employee organizations; (2) subjecting State employees to disparate treatment on the basis of religion by allowing employees who are members and adherents of religions that historically have held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting employee organizations to redirect their fair share fees to nonreligious charities, but denying the same accommodation to employees who are not members and adherents of such religions, even if they hold sincere religious objections to associating with and financially supporting employee organizations such.

On September 5, 2006 the District Court (Judge Gregory L. Frost) entered the consent decree agreed upon by the parties. The consent decree provides that the defendants: (1) are prohibited from establishing, maintaining, and/or implementing any policy or procedure (or otherwise engaging in any act or practice) that denies substituted charity accommodations to State employees, who hold sincere religious objections to associating with and/or financially supporting an employee organization such as OCSEA, whether or not they are members and adherents of religions that historically have held conscientious objections to joining or financially supporting employee organizations, pursuant to Title VII; (2) are prohibited from retaliating against, or in any way adversely affecting the terms and conditions of employment of any person because that person has requested a religious accommodation concerning the payment of his or her union dues or fair share fees, or has engaged in other conduct protected by 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-3(a); (3) shall continue to abide by and implement the religious accommodation policy and procedure ("Accommodation Procedure"), which they have incorporated into their 2006-2009 collective bargaining agreement; (4) within thirty days from the close of each reporting period, shall provide the United States and the EEOC with a semi-annual report that contains a summary of each religious accommodation request made by a State employee pursuant to the Accommodation Procedure.

The consent decree further stipulates specific compensation for the employee for the Environmental Protection Agency: (1) Within fifteen days of entry of the Decree, the State and OCSEA shall grant the employee a religious accommodation that redirects his dues or fair share fees to a charitable organization he designates, excluding any organization in which he has a financial interest or is an officer, agent or employee, and excluding any organization that does not or will not accept an electronic transfer of funds from the State. The amount of dues or fair share fees retroactively redirected, however, shall not exceed three thousand five hundred dollars ($3,500.00). Going forward, the State shall effectuate this accommodation by forwarding the dues or fair share fees taken from employee's pay directly to the charitable organization he designates. (2) Within fifteen days from the entry of the Decree, OCSEA shall ensure that the dues or fair share fees employee has paid OCSEA since June 17, 2002 are retroactively redirected to a mutually agreed upon charitable organization. (3) The employee shall be eligible to recover from the State and OCSEA reasonable costs and attorney's fees, upon submission of proper supporting documentation.

James Floyd - 11/15/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Jurisdiction-wide
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Ohio
Plaintiff Description United States on behalf of an employee in the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency
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 Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2006 - 2009
Case Closing Year 2007
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)
2:05-cv-00799-GLF-NMK (S.D. Ohio) 04/23/2007
EE-OH-0088-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint 08/26/2005
EE-OH-0088-0002 PDF | External Link | Detail
Plaintiff-Intervenor's Complaint 09/21/2005
EE-OH-0088-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint-Nature of Action 09/23/2005
EE-OH-0088-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendent State Relations Board's Answer to Plaintiff-Intervenor's Complaint 11/14/2005
EE-OH-0088-0005 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Defendant State Employee Relations Board's Answer to Plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's Complaint 11/15/2005
EE-OH-0088-0006 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer of Defendants State of Ohio, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Ohio Department of Administrative Services, To Complaint of Intervenor 02/03/2006
EE-OH-0088-0007 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Plaintiff-Intervenor's First Amended Complaint 06/12/2006
EE-OH-0088-0008 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Answer of Defendants State of Ohio, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency, and Ohio Department of Administrative Services of First Amended Complaint of Intervenor 06/21/2006
EE-OH-0088-0009 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 09/05/2006
EE-OH-0088-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Opinion 02/21/2007 (474 F.Supp.2d 916) (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0011 PDF | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Order 04/19/2007
EE-OH-0088-0010 PDF | Detail
Judges Frost, Gregory L. (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0002 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0004 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0007 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-0009 | EE-OH-0088-0010 | EE-OH-0088-0011 | EE-OH-0088-9000
King, Norah McCann (S.D. Ohio) [Magistrate]
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0002 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0004 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0007 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-0009 | EE-OH-0088-0010 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Blutter, Sarah C (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Brey, Donald Carl (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Cameron, Bruce N (Virginia)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-9000
D'Alessandro, Mark Thomas (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0002 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Lockhart, Gregory G. (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0002
Mays, Lawrence (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0004 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0008
Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0002 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0008
Roth, Christine M. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0088-0002 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Schlozman, Bradley (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0088-0002
Stern, Jefferey A (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0004 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0008
Tshibaka, Jean Christian (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0002 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Watson, C. Larry (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0004 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0008
Defendant's Lawyers Adams, Katharine (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-9000
Allen, Michael David (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Bell, Sandra Faye (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0003 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Decker, Jack Wilson (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001 | EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0006 | EE-OH-0088-0007 | EE-OH-0088-0008 | EE-OH-0088-0009 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Keith, J Russell (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0001
Melle, James Edward (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-9000
Petro, Jim (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0005 | EE-OH-0088-0007 | EE-OH-0088-0009
Qadir, Mahjabeen F (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0009 | EE-OH-0088-9000
Spalding, Sloan T (Ohio)
EE-OH-0088-0003
Other Lawyers None on record

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