University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Trans Bay Steel, Inc. EE-CA-0283
Docket / Court CV 06-07766 CAS (JTLx) ( C.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On December 07, 2006, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against Trans Bay Steel Inc., a small construction company, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division - Los ... read more >
On December 07, 2006, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") filed a lawsuit against Trans Bay Steel Inc., a small construction company, under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 in the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California, Western Division - Los Angeles. The EEOC charged that Defendant Trans Bay discriminated against Thai nationals in recruitment, hiring, pay, and other terms and conditions of employment and harassed them based on their national origin.

Trans Bay contracted with an employment agency to bring skilled welders into the United States from Thailand under guest worker visas. The visas required that the welders be paid the prevailing wage. Nine of the Thai welders sponsored by Trans Bay went to work for the company, but they were not paid the promised wages. The remaining sponsored Thai welders (about 40) were transported by the employment agency to other cities and forced to work long hours for no pay at restaurants, homes, and apartments owned by the agency's owner (a Thai.) The agency confiscated the welders' passports, held them against their will (confining some to cramped apartments without electricity, water, or gas), and threatened to call police and immigration authorities if they tried to escape. Eventually several escaped and were put into contact with a Thai nonprofit organization that works with victims of slavery and trafficking. The nonprofit organization filed a charge with the EEOC on the welders' behalf.

On December 08, 2006, District Judge Christina A. Snyder approved a Consent Decree submitted by the parties. Under the Consent Decree, the parties entered the Decree for the following purposes: 1) To provide agreed upon monetary and injunctive relief; 2) To ensure that Trans Bays employment practices comply with federal law; 3) To ensure work environment free from discrimination due to national origin; 4) To ensure that Trans Bay maintains a workforce free of discrimination so as to allow employees the equal employment opportunities required under Title VII; 5) To ensure that employees are protected from retaliation for engaging in a protected activity; and 6) To provide an appropriate and effective mechanism for handling harassment, discrimination, and retaliation complaints in the workplace.

Under the Consent Decree, 48 Thai welders shared in relief from Trans Bay valued at approximately $1 million (the employment agency was out of business and its owner could not be located). In addition, Trans Bay is required to employ a number of the Thai welders, help them obtain jobs with other employers, and sponsor some of them for guest worker visas if appropriate.

Xin Chen - 08/28/2011


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols
Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention
Retaliation Prohibition
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Hiring
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
National Origin/Ethnicity
Other
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Trans Bay Steel, Inc.
Plaintiff Description EEOC on behalf of 48 welders of Thai descent who were discriminated against and exploited due to their national origin.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
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 2006
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)
2:06-cv-07766-CAS-JTL (C.D. Cal.) 12/19/2006
EE-CA-0283-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
EEOC Resolves Slavery and Human Trafficking Suit Against Trans Bay Steel For an Estimated $1 Million 12/08/2006
EE-CA-0283-0001 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 12/08/2006
EE-CA-0283-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Lum, Jennifer T. (C.D. Cal.) [Magistrate]
EE-CA-0283-9000
Snyder, Christina A. (C.D. Cal.)
EE-CA-0283-0002 | EE-CA-0283-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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