On June 3, 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit in the Camden U.S. district court for the District of New Jersey against Blackwell's Book Services on behalf of a black employee. After joining a company committee called the Staff Quality Forum, the employee received ...
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On June 3, 2004, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit in the Camden U.S. district court for the District of New Jersey against Blackwell's Book Services on behalf of a black employee. After joining a company committee called the Staff Quality Forum, the employee received racial discrimination and harassment complaints about a white supervisor, which she passed on to the company vice president and the human resources officer. Investigation resulted in the supervisor's firing. The EEOC alleged that the employee was advised to resign from the committee and abruptly fired in retaliation for bringing forth those complaints, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. § 2000e et. seq.). The EEOC sought its costs and monetary and injunctive relief for the employee, including a retaliation prohibition, back pay, job search expenses, compensation for emotional harm, and punitive damages.
The Court (Judge Joel B. Rosen) granted the employee's motion to intervene on October 20, 2004. The employee brought further claims for a racially hostile work environment, for racially discriminatory impairment of a contractual relationship in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1981, and for violation of New Jersey law.
The employee voluntarily dismissed her claims with prejudice on May 25, 2005. The parties reached a settlement agreement, which the Court (Judge Freda L. Wolfson) entered as a consent decree on the same day. The employee received $65,000, subject to the execution of a release agreement. The 2-year decree required Blackwell's not to retaliate against employees for making claims or participating in investigations of unlawful discrimination, to post a notice of the lawsuit and its resolution, to provide Title VII training to all managers, supervisors, and Human Resources employees, and to maintain records of all complaints of discrimination or harassment and their resolution. Blackwell's also had to make the complaint records available to the EEOC for inspection and copying upon request. The docket shows no further activity and the case is now closed.Kenneth Gray - 07/23/2013