On May 26, 2006, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of the Eastern District of Missouri against Sappington Garden Shop Company on behalf of a female employee. The EEOC alleged Sappington Garden violated Title VII of the ...
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On May 26, 2006, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern Division of the Eastern District of Missouri against Sappington Garden Shop Company on behalf of a female employee. The EEOC alleged Sappington Garden violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (42 U.S.C. 2000e et. seq.) by failing to correct and prevent the sexual harassment of the employee and by firing the employee in retaliation for opposing the sexual harassment. The EEOC sought its costs and monetary and injunctive relief for the employee, including policy and practice reform, back pay, compensation for emotional harm, and back pay.
The employee, represented by private counsel, was permitted to intervene in the lawsuit on August 14, 2006. The employee's claims substantially mirrored the EEOC's. The employee amended her complaint on November 9, 2006, to add N.G. Heimos Greenhouse Company, Inc. on an integrated enterprise theory, which would treat the two corporations as the same employer.
The parties participated in an alternative dispute resolution process on December 13, 2006 and reached a settlement agreement. Because of the settlement, the employee voluntarily dismissed her claims against both companies with prejudice, which the Court (Judge Charles A. Shaw) approved on January 22, 2007. The terms of the agreement(s) between the employee and the two defendants are private and unknown. The EEOC, which did not bring any claims against Heimos Greenhouse, had its agreement with Sappington Garden entered by the Court as a consent decree on January 29, 2007.
The EEOC's settlement was with a two-year consent decree that included both monetary and injunctive provisions. Under the decree, the employee was paid $75,000, inclusive of attorneys' fees, while Sappington Garden agreed to train all its employees on the issue of sexual harassment, to provide all employees with its sexual harassment policy, to post an equal employment notice, and to keep records of all complaints of possible sexual harassment it received during the ensuing three years. The decree also required Sappington Garden to notify the EEOC of sexual harassment complaints it received during the decree term. The EEOC and Sappington Garden bore their own costs. No further court activity appears on the docket and the case is now closed.Kenneth Gray - 07/23/2013