University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Signal International, LLC IM-LA-0011
Docket / Court 2:12-cv-00557-SM-DEK ( E.D. La. )
State/Territory Louisiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Immigration
Special Collection Signal International Guest Worker Cases
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On April 20, 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against defendant Signal International, LLC, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiff alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC's allegations ... read more >
On April 20, 2011, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against defendant Signal International, LLC, in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi. The plaintiff alleged violations of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC's allegations of unlawful employment practices and a hostile workplace on the basis of national origin, immigration status, and race stem from a related case, IM-LA-0010 in this Clearinghouse, brought against Signal by the guestworkers themselves.

The EEOC alleged that the terms and conditions of the Indian guestworkers' employment were less favorable than their non-Indian counterparts, and that Signal engaged in a pattern or practice of subjecting the Indian workers to a hostile environment and disparate terms and conditions of employment based on their race and national origin. The EEOC sought injunctive relief and monetary awards, including damages for emotional pain and suffering, punitive damages for malicious and reckless conduct, and attorneys' fees. In January 2012, the court (Magistrate Judge Robert Walker) granted a motion to intervene by three private plaintiffs.

In February 2012, the court (Chief United States District Judge Louis Guirola) granted Signal's motion to transfer the case to the Eastern District of Louisiana on the grounds that this case and IM-LA-0010, arose from the same conduct, and that the substantive issues and the parties were similar. District Judge Jay Zainey of the Eastern District of Louisiana then denied Signal's motion to consolidate the cases, noting that since the EEOC is a party to this case, it is statutorily entitled to expedited consideration.

On September 10, 2013, Magistrate Judge Daniel Knowles granted the EEOC's motion for a protective order for information related to the immigration history or status of individuals involved in the case. Signal argued it needed the information for impeachment purposes; the court noted that it had already rejected this argument in the David case, and once again barred discovery on the matter.

On September 26, 2013, the court dismissed the Intervenors' (guestworkers') claim for recovery of recruitment fees. The alleged discriminatory conduct in connection with the recruitment relates only to events that occurred outside of the United States and before the Intervenors began to work at Signal's facilities, and the court found that Congress intended to exclude non-citizens located outside the United States from the protection of Title VII. As such, the Intervenors were not covered when they paid the recruitment fee because they were non-citizens and they were not working within the United States at the time.

Although the Court set a trial date of June 1, 2015, on May 7, 2015, the trial was delayed indefinitely until an appeal on a separate EEOC case, EEOC v. Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC, could be resolved. The case is EE-TX-0455 in this Clearinghouse. Shortly after, on July 12, 2015, Signal filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy, putting a further halt on the case proceedings.

As of January 15, 2016, the case is still pending, although it is unclear when litigation will resume.

Anna Dimon - 04/17/2015
Allison Hight - 01/15/2016


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Immigration status
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
General
Bathing and hygiene
Disparate Treatment
Food service / nutrition / hydration
Housing
Loss or damage to property
Pattern or Practice
Racial segregation
Retaliation
Sanitation / living conditions
Totality of conditions
Immigration
Employer sanctions
Employment
Immigration lawyers
Temporary foreign workers program
U.S. citizenship - acquiring
National Origin/Ethnicity
Indian
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Signal International, Inc.
Plaintiff Description EEOC
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party None Yet / None
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief None yet
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year n/a
Case Ongoing Yes
Case Listing IM-LA-0010 : David v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0012 : Achari v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0013 : Chakkiyattil v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0014 : Krishnakutty v. Signal International LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0015 : Devassy v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0016 : Singh v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. La.)
IM-TX-0035 : Samuel v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0036 : Joseph v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0037 : Meganathan v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0038 : Kambala v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. Tex.)
IM-TX-0039 : Marimuthu v. Signal International, LLC (E.D. Tex.)
Additional Resources
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Case Studies Insurer Must Pay $100.5 Million in Redlining Case
The New York Times
Written: Oct. 27, 1998
By: Joseph B. Treaster
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Nationwide Settles Virginia Redlining Suit
Property Casualty 360
Written: May. 06, 2000
By: Amanda Levin
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Threats to the Future of the Immigration Class Action
Washington University Journal of Law and Policy
By: Jill E. Family (Widener University School of Law)
Citation: 27 Wash. U. J.L. & Pol'y 71 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:12-cv-00557-SM-DEK (E.D. La.) 02/26/2015
IM-LA-0011-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:12-cv-557 (E.D. La.) 12/14/2015
IM-LA-0011-9001.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Nature of the Action 04/20/2011
IM-LA-0011-0001.pdf | Detail
Order Granting Motion to Intervene 01/24/2012 (2012 WL 208864 / 2012 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 7615) (S.D. Miss.)
IM-LA-0011-0002.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Class Complaint in Intervention 02/03/2012
IM-LA-0011-0003.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Granting Motion to Transfer 02/29/2012 (S.D. Miss.)
IM-LA-0011-0004.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 04/02/2012 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0005.pdf | Detail
First Amended Complaint 08/02/2012
IM-LA-0011-0006.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Proposed First Amended Complaint in Intervention 10/15/2012
IM-LA-0011-0007.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 05/20/2013 (2013 WL 2181293) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0008.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Order and Reasons 06/03/2013 (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0009.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 06/11/2013 (2013 WL 2631427) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0010.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 07/15/2013 (2013 WL 3776670) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0011.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 08/19/2013 (2013 WL 4446833) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0012.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order 09/10/2013 (2013 WL 4854136 / 2013 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 128990) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0013.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 09/26/2013 (2013 WL 5428639) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0014.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 12/02/2013 (2013 WL 6234592) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0015.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 12/04/2013 (37 F.Supp.3d 814) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 01/15/2014 (2014 WL 2581201) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0017.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order Denying Transfer 08/12/2014 (37 F.Supp.3d 822)
IM-LA-0011-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Reasons 10/14/2014 (37 F.Supp.3d 836) (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0019.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Litigation Settlement Trust Agreement 11/24/2015
IM-LA-0011-0020.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Breyer, Charles R. (N.D. Cal.)
IM-LA-0011-0018
Guirola, Louis Jr. (S.D. Miss., W.D. Tex.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0011-0004
Heyburn, John Gilpin II (W.D. Ky.)
IM-LA-0011-0018
Kaplan, Lewis A. (S.D.N.Y.)
IM-LA-0011-0018
Knowles, Daniel E. III (E.D. La.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0011-0013
Morgan, Donna Sue (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0002 | IM-LA-0011-0008 | IM-LA-0011-0009 | IM-LA-0011-0011 | IM-LA-0011-0012 | IM-LA-0011-0013 | IM-LA-0011-0014 | IM-LA-0011-0015 | IM-LA-0011-0016 | IM-LA-0011-0017 | IM-LA-0011-0019 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Proctor, R. David (N.D. Ala.)
IM-LA-0011-0018
Rendell, Marjorie O. (E.D. Pa., Third Circuit)
IM-LA-0011-0018
Vance, Sarah S. (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0018
Walker, Robert H. (S.D. Miss.) [Magistrate]
IM-LA-0011-0002
Zainey, Jay C. (E.D. La.)
IM-LA-0011-0005
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers Anderson, Suzanne M. (Texas)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Bean, Julie Steptoe (Alabama)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0006 | IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Bedi, Sheila A. (Mississippi)
IM-LA-0011-0003 | IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Belway, Shakti (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-0020
Bhatnagar, Chandra S. (New York)
IM-LA-0011-0003 | IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Bjarnson, Joseph (New York)
IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Canino, Robert Anthony (Texas)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Clark, Joel P. (Texas)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Fritzsche, Thomas P. (Georgia)
IM-LA-0011-0003 | IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Guerrier, Charles (Alabama)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Hellman, Eden B. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Howard, Alan B. (New York)
IM-LA-0011-0003 | IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Jones, Anica C. (Tennessee)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Kopka, Ylda Marisol (Alabama)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Lee, James E. (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0020
Lopez, P. David (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0020
Miller, Gerald L (Alabama)
IM-LA-0011-0006 | IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Murray, Steven Lee (Alabama)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0006 | IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0020
Rucker, Marsha Lynn (Alabama)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Sandler, Hugh (New York)
IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Shepard, Meghan L. (Texas)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Smith, C. Emanuel (Alabama)
IM-LA-0011-0001 | IM-LA-0011-0006 | IM-LA-0011-0020
Stewart, Meredith B. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Suriyopas, Ivy O. (New York)
IM-LA-0011-0003 | IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Tsu, Naomi Ruth (Georgia)
IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Werner, Daniel (Georgia)
IM-LA-0011-0007 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Defendant's Lawyers Bollman, Patricia Anne F. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Cornblatt, James L. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Gianna, Dominic Joseph (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Hangartner, Erin Casey (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Hasenkampf, Mitchell P. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Rabbani, Elham (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Roux, Brian C. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Rydberg, Lance R. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Ungar, Hal D. (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Weinberger, Alan Dean (Louisiana)
IM-LA-0011-0020 | IM-LA-0011-9000 | IM-LA-0011-9001
Other Lawyers None on record

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