University of Michigan Law School
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Case Name United States of America v. School City of East Chicago, Indiana EE-IN-0122
Docket / Court 2:98-cv-00509-JTM ( N.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
During the period from at least 1988 until January 1, 1994, five female janitors who worked in the School City of East Chicago, a school district in Northern Indiana, were assigned to and allowed by the school district to work only seven hour shifts, while their male counterparts were assigned and ... read more >
During the period from at least 1988 until January 1, 1994, five female janitors who worked in the School City of East Chicago, a school district in Northern Indiana, were assigned to and allowed by the school district to work only seven hour shifts, while their male counterparts were assigned and allowed to work eight hour shifts. The female janitors lost hourly earnings due to the school district's practice of limiting their hours. The five female janitors then filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. The EEOC investigated the charges and found reasonable cause to believe the Title VII allegations were true. After unsuccessful attempts to conciliate the matter, the EEOC referred the charges to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

On September 15, 1998, the DOJ reached an agreement with the school district and filed a complaint against it in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana under Title VII on the same day. In the complaint, the DOJ sought an injunction prohibiting the school district from engaging in its discriminatory practice as well as compensatory backpay for female janitors who were adversely affected by such practice. This was the sixth case filed by the DOJ since 1993, alleging that women had not been given equal access to higher paying custodial jobs in public schools.

According to a DOJ press release, under the agreement, the school district would create a fund of $250,000 to compensate all female janitors who lost money as a result of its sex discrimination regarding working hours. Furthermore, the school district agreed to pay the attorneys' fees for the five female janitors.

Even though we had little information about any injunctive relief, it is highly likely that the agreement contained the relief sought in the complaint, requiring an end to the school district's discriminatory practice in question. On September 24, 1998, the District Court (Judge James T. Moody) issued a consent decree, and approved the DOJ's proposed monetary relief determinations on August 16, 1999. This ended the case.

Emma Bao - 08/09/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Defendant-type
Elementary/Secondary School
Discrimination-area
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Discrimination-basis
Sex 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) School City of East Chicago
Plaintiff Description Five female janitors who were assigned and allowed to work shifts of fewer hours than their males counterparts by their employer, a school district in Northern Indiana.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1998 - n/a
Case Closing Year 2000
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)
2:98-cv-00509-JTM (N.D. Ind.) 08/16/1999
EE-IN-0122-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 09/15/1998
EE-IN-0122-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section
School City of East Chicago to Settle Claims of Employment Discrimination, Under Justice Department Agreement [Press Release] 09/15/1998
EE-IN-0122-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges Moody, James Tyne (N.D. Ind.) [Magistrate]
EE-IN-0122-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Davilo, Carol (Indiana)
EE-IN-0122-0001 | EE-IN-0122-9000
DeGuilio, Jon E. (District of Columbia)
EE-IN-0122-0001
Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)
EE-IN-0122-0001 | EE-IN-0122-9000
Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)
EE-IN-0122-0001
Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)
EE-IN-0122-0001
Tejani, Sharyn A. (District of Columbia)
EE-IN-0122-0001 | EE-IN-0122-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Lesniak, Richard J (Indiana)
EE-IN-0122-9000
Murakowski, William M (Indiana)
EE-IN-0122-9000
Other Lawyers Balanoff, James (Indiana)
EE-IN-0122-9000

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