University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name United States v. Palm Beach County EE-FL-0136
Docket / Court 9:07-cv-80713-KAM ( S.D. Fla. )
State/Territory Florida
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division
Case Summary
On August 9, 2007, the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the Department of Parks and Recreation in Palm Beach County alleging that the defendant ... read more >
On August 9, 2007, the United States Department of Justice ("DOJ") filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against the Department of Parks and Recreation in Palm Beach County alleging that the defendant discriminated against an employee on the basis of his religion. Specifically, the DOJ contended that the Department of Parks and Recreation discriminated against a Christian park ranger by failing or refusing to accommodate his religious practice of attending church and refraining from work on Sundays, and for subsequently discharging him for this religious practice. The EEOC investigated the charge and found reasonable cause to believe that allegations of religious discrimination were true, attempted unsuccessfully through negotiation to achieve a voluntary resolution, and subsequently referred the charge to the DOJ. The U.S. sought remedial and injunctive relief.

On August 27, 2007, the DOJ and the defendant entered into a consent decree approved by the district court (Judge Kenneth A. Marra). The defendant was enjoined from discriminating against any employee because of that individual's good faith religious observances or practices. The defendant further agreed not to retaliate against the plaintiff or any other employees because they opposed the allegedly discriminatory practices, filed a charge with the EEOC, or cooperated or participated in this case or decree. The defendant was also ordered to reasonably accommodate the religious practices and observances of its employees and to provide training regarding Title VII's prohibition of discriminatory practices to supervisory personnel. With regards to the employee who filed the EEOC complaint, the defendant was ordered to offer the employee reinstatement with remedial seniority and back pay and to accommodate the employee's request for a work schedule that allows him to refrain from work on Sundays. The defendant was also obligated to expunge all negative references for this employee pertaining to his refusal to work on Sundays from their files. In order to accept the remedial relief offered, the employee was required to sign an executed release. Finally, the defendant agreed to furnish records and documents pertaining to their compliance with the decree to the DOJ on request.

Dana Schwarz - 12/20/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Male
Defendant-type
Parks
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
General
Disparate Treatment
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Palm Beach County
Plaintiff Description U.S. Department of Justice on behalf of individual Parks and Recreation 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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2007 - n/a
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)
9:07-cv-80713 (S.D. Fla.) 08/28/2007
EE-FL-0136-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/09/2007
EE-FL-0136-0001.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree 08/27/2007
EE-FL-0136-0002.pdf | Detail
Judges Marra, Kenneth A. (S.D. Fla.)
EE-FL-0136-0002 | EE-FL-0136-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Acosta, R. Alexander (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0136-0001 | EE-FL-0136-0002
Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0136-0001 | EE-FL-0136-0002 | EE-FL-0136-9000
Harrell-James, Veronica Vanessa (Florida)
EE-FL-0136-0001 | EE-FL-0136-9000
Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0136-0001
Morrison, Jeffrey G. (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0136-0001 | EE-FL-0136-0002 | EE-FL-0136-9000
Palmer, David J. (District of Columbia)
EE-FL-0136-0001 | EE-FL-0136-0002 | EE-FL-0136-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chasseur, Ernest (Florida)
EE-FL-0136-0002
Other Lawyers None on record

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