University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Yellow Transportation, Inc. and YRC, INC. EE-IL-0330
Docket / Court 09 CV 7693 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On December 10, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Yellow Transportation, Inc., and YRC, Inc., for discriminatory employment practices on behalf of 14 current or former black employees and the class of similarly situated black employees. The EEOC alleged ... read more >
On December 10, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Yellow Transportation, Inc., and YRC, Inc., for discriminatory employment practices on behalf of 14 current or former black employees and the class of similarly situated black employees. The EEOC alleged that Yellow Transportation (later merged into YRC) had violated §703(a) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a) by subjecting black employees to greater scrutiny, more frequent and greater discipline, lower paying and less favorable job assignments, more difficult and time-consuming work, and a hostile work environment. The EEOC sought injunctive and monetary relief, including economic and noneconomic harm to the employees, punitive damages, development of policies and programs to provide equal employment opportunity and eradicate the effects of its past discrimination. The EEOC also sought to recover its costs. The charging parties later intervened as plaintiffs on their own behalf, filing their complaint on October 6, 2010. The Intervenors' complaint proceeded on the same grounds as the EEOC's allegations but added claims for retaliation.

Examples of the racial hostility in the Intervening Plaintiffs' work environment include repeated hanging of nooses at the workplace, racial slurs and racially motivated graffiti in bathroom stalls, displays by white employees of racially hostile symbols (such as the Confederate flag and "KKK") on clothing or in the form of tattoos, and supervisors' failure to address complaints adequately. Additional examples of the alleged disparate treatment include delaying full-time hiring of black employees (which gave white employees greater seniority), denial of work opportunities that would lead to advancement, giving shorter sick leaves to black injured workers than white, granting less overtime to blacks than whites, and denying blacks - but not whites - the opportunity to choose who they worked with.

The parties reached a settlement, which the Court (Magistrate Judge Susan Cox) entered as a consent decree on September 25, 2012. The decree resolved this case and the related case Brown v. Yellow Transportation, Inc. , linked below (Clearinghouse code: EE-IL-0329). The decree awarded a total $11 million to the class of plaintiffs from the two cases to be distributed according to the specified claims process. Attorney's fees were awarded to the Intervening Plaintiffs' attorneys in the amount of $1.1 million out of the $11 million award. No significant injunction was granted because the facility at which the Plaintiffs originally worked had closed and the facility to which those who had not been fired were transferred (Chicago Heights) was already under an adequate consent decree from the cases EEOC v. Roadway Express, Inc., linked below (Clearinghouse code: EE-IL-0189), and William Bandy v. Roadway Express, Inc.. The court simply requires a notice to be posted at the remaining facility. Final approval of the distribution of the settlement funds was granted on April 8, 2013. Because the duration of the notice provision is co-extensive with the duration of the Chicago Heights decree, the decree is technically in effect as of this writing. For all intents and purposes the case is closed.

Kenneth Gray - 06/14/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Defendant-type
Transportation
Discrimination-area
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
Private Suit Related / Consolidated with EEOC Suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Yellow Transportation, Inc.
YRC, Inc.
Plaintiff Description EEOC filing on behalf of 14 black current or former employees and the class of black employees at the relevant job sites.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Damages
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - 2015
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Unknown
Case Listing EE-IL-0329 : Brown v. Yellow Transportation, Inc. (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0189 : EEOC v. ROADWAY EXPRESS (N.D. Ill.)
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)
09-cv-07693 (N.D. Ill.) 04/08/2013
EE-IL-0330-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint, Jury Trial Demand 12/09/2009
EE-IL-0330-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order 07/21/2010 (2010 WL 2891673) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0330-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention 10/06/2010
EE-IL-0330-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 09/25/2012 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0330-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Cox, Susan (N.D. Ill.) [Magistrate]
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-0004 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Babbitt, Carol Coplan (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Caporusso, Catherine A (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Cohen, Ethan M.M. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-0001 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Fiorito, Bradley S. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Gochanour, Gregory M. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-0001 | EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Hamilton, Deborah Lois (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Hendrickson, John C. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-0001 | EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Mrizek, Richard John (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Schmidt, Randall D (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-0002 | EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Szromba, Jeanne B. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Walker, Grayson Sang (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Chairez, Joseph L. (California)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Cummins, Tiffany Lynn (Florida)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Ellerson, Tracey L. (Florida)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Hines, Erin Bolan (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Mersol, Gregory V. (Ohio)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Nybo, Christopher L. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-9000
O'Donnell, Margo Wolf (Illinois)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Seegers, James Warren (Florida)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Shaughnessy, Kevin W (Florida)
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Williams, Jeffrey T. (Ohio)
EE-IL-0330-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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