University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Kaplan Higher Learning Educ. Corp. EE-OH-0110
Docket / Court 1:10-cv-02882-PAG ( N.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On December 21, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of Black job applicants and incumbents, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District Court of Ohio under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, Kaplan, Inc., and Kaplan ... read more >
On December 21, 2010, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"), on behalf of Black job applicants and incumbents, filed a lawsuit in the Northern District Court of Ohio under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Kaplan Higher Education Corporation, Kaplan, Inc., and Kaplan University. The EEOC sought injunctive relief, compensatory damages, and other forms of affirmative relief, claiming that the defendants' discriminatory selection criteria for hiring and discharge, namely its use of credit history information, had a disparate impact on Black applicants and incumbents and was not job-related or consistent with business necessity.

The defendants participate in a highly regulated industry since they, as educational institutions, have to abide by the Department of Education's ("DOE") requirements and guidelines. The defendants' financial aid departments routinely utilize the National Student Loan data System (DOE's student aid database) to access student and parent information. Prior to 2004, the defendants discovered breaches of their systems in which business officers misappropriated student payments. As a result, the defendants took additional steps to ensure compliance with financial rules and regulations, as well as DOE guidelines. Shortly thereafter, the defendants began utilizing credit history checks for applicants of certain positions, looking in particular for those who had "financial stress or burdens" that might compromise their ethical obligations.

On May 10, 2011, the District Court (Judge Patricia A. Gaughan) granted the defendants' motion for partial summary judgment. The defendants argued that employment decisions made more than 300 days before the suit was filed were time-barred. The plaintiffs argued that the continuing violations doctrine would apply here, however, the District Court (Judge Gaughan) disagreed and found that decisions to hire and fire were discrete, individual decisions instead of a series of connected discrete acts.

On March 14, 2012, the EEOC filed an amended complaint. On January 28, 2013, the District Court (Judge Patricia A. Gaughan) granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment. The District Court (Judge Gaughan) found that the EEOC failed to present a prima facie case of disparate impact discrimination due to its failure to provide reliable statistical evidence of employment discrimination. The EEOC then filed a motion for reconsideration, but the District Court (Judge Gaughan) denied it on May 6, 2013.

Perry Miska - 04/07/2014


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Hiring
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Impact
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Kaplan Higher Learning Educ. Corp.
Plaintiff Description EEOC
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2013
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)
1:10-cv-2882 (N.D. Ohio) 03/17/2014
EE-OH-0110-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 12/21/2010
EE-OH-0110-0001.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting Defendant's Partial Motion to Dismiss 05/10/2011 (790 F.Supp.2d 619) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0110-0005.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint 03/14/2012
EE-OH-0110-0002.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Granting Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment] 01/28/2013 (2013 WL 322116 / 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11722) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0110-0003.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [Denying EEOC’s Revised Motion for Reconsideration and Incorporated Memorandum of Law] 05/06/2013 (2013 WL 1891365 / 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 64353) (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0110-0004.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Gaughan, Patricia Anne (N.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0110-0003 | EE-OH-0110-0004 | EE-OH-0110-0005 | EE-OH-0110-9000
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Boehringer, Maria K. (Maryland)
EE-OH-0110-0001 | EE-OH-0110-0002 | EE-OH-0110-9000
Henderson, John A. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Lawrence, Debra Michele (Maryland)
EE-OH-0110-0001 | EE-OH-0110-0002
Lee, James L. (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0110-0001 | EE-OH-0110-0002
Lopez, P. David (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0110-0001 | EE-OH-0110-0002
Northrup, Kate (Maryland)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Peterson, Melanie M. (Pennsylvania)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)
EE-OH-0110-0001 | EE-OH-0110-0002
Stern, Jefferey A (Ohio)
EE-OH-0110-0001 | EE-OH-0110-0002 | EE-OH-0110-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Devata, Pamela Q. (Illinois)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Drummond, Alexandre S. (Georgia)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Maatman, Gerald L Jr. (Illinois)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Pearlman, Steven J. (Illinois)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Riley, Jennifer A. (Illinois)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Ross, David Bennet (New York)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Rossiter, Britt (Ohio)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Rowland, David J. (Illinois)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Spurlock, Brandon L. (Illinois)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Zashin, Stephen S (Ohio)
EE-OH-0110-9000
Other Lawyers None on record

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