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Case Name EEOC (Hadji) v. Albion River Inn, Inc. EE-CA-0009
Docket / Court 3:06-cv-05356-SI ( N.D. Cal. )
State/Territory California
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on August 31, 2006 against Albion River Inn, Inc., on behalf of an Arab restaurant manager who was fired for refusing to apologize to a customer he asked to leave ... read more >
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on August 31, 2006 against Albion River Inn, Inc., on behalf of an Arab restaurant manager who was fired for refusing to apologize to a customer he asked to leave the restaurant. Because the customer allegedly used racial epithets, slurs, and violent language toward the manager and a Tunisian employee, the EEOC sued for race- or national-origin-based retaliation and discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Federal Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. sections 2000(e) et seq. The EEOC sought monetary and injunctive relief for the employee, including back pay, benefits, compensation for emotional harm, punitive damages, and revision of antidiscrimination policies. The EEOC also sought its costs.

On February 9, 2007, the employee intervened in the case with the approval of the Court seeking monetary relief. His complaint included the Title VII charges but added claims under state law for discrimination and retaliation in violation of California's Fair Employment and Housing Act, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and wrongful termination.

During discovery the parties had a dispute about whether mediator privilege (the right to keep discussions with a mediator confidential) extended to a friend of the owners of Albion River Inn, who was a certified financial planner and whose help the owners requested in resolving financial and management disputes. The Court (Judge Susan Illston) held that no privilege applied, because the "mediator" was not part of the court's official program and was mediating, if at all, between the defendants rather than between adverse parties to a lawsuit. 2007 WL 2667430 (N.D. Cal. 2007). The Court denied Defendant's later request to reconsider the issue. 2007 WL 2560718 (N.D. Cal. 2007).

The parties participated in official mediation on May 8, 2007, but did not reach a settlement. The parties eventually did decide to settle, reaching agreement on February 4, 2008, the first day of trial, before the trial began. (The Court later ordered the parties to pay the costs of empaneling a jury for the first day of trial.) The Court entered their settlement agreement as a consent decree on February 27, 2008. The decree contained both monetary and injunctive relief. The employee was to be paid $165,000, inclusive of $75,000 for attorneys' fees and $15,000 for costs. Under the injunctive terms of the decree Albion River Inn was required to revise its anti-discrimination policies and complaint procedure, to post notice of settlement and the complaint procedure, to give employees anti-discrimination training, to report completion of training to the EEOC, and to communicate discipline policies as well as the duty to actively monitor the workplace for discrimination to managers and supervisors. The decree was to remain in effect for three years. No further Court involvement appears on the docket, and the case is now closed.

Kenneth Gray - 07/14/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Albion River Inn, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one or more workers.
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
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2008 - 2011
Case Closing Year 2008
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)
3:06-cv-05356-SI (N.D. Cal.) 06/05/2007
EE-CA-0009-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint 08/31/2006
EE-CA-0009-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention 02/09/2007
EE-CA-0009-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 02/27/2008
EE-CA-0009-0003 PDF | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers O'Hara-Varela, Cindy (California)
EE-CA-0009-0001
Peck, Jonathan T. (California)
EE-CA-0009-0001
Tamayo, William Robert (California)
EE-CA-0009-0001
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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