University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. SERRANO'S MEXICAN RESTAURANTS LLC EE-AZ-0104
Docket / Court 2:02-cv-01608-FJM ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
EEOC's Phoenix, AZ office filed this Title VII lawsuit alleging discrimination based on religious belief against the Defendant Serrano's Mexican Restaurants, LLC. The lawsuit was filed at the United States District Court for the District of Arizona (Phoenix) on 08/20/2002. EEOC alleged on behalf ... read more >
EEOC's Phoenix, AZ office filed this Title VII lawsuit alleging discrimination based on religious belief against the Defendant Serrano's Mexican Restaurants, LLC. The lawsuit was filed at the United States District Court for the District of Arizona (Phoenix) on 08/20/2002. EEOC alleged on behalf of the former general manager of the restaurant that she was wrongfully discharged because of organizing a bible study group attended by three subordinate employees. The defendant had had a policy prohibiting managers from socializing with staff outside the workplace to prevent sexual harassment and unfair treatment of employees. The individual complainant did not intervene in the lawsuit or file a separate lawsuit.

The parties engaged in lengthy pretrial discovery and motion filing, which lasted for almost three years before a jury trial was finally conducted on 06/07/2005. The trial was presided by District Judge Earl H. Carroll. Judge Carroll denied both parties' oral motion for a directed verdict. The jury came to a verdict for the defendant on the sixth day of the trial. Thereafter, Judge Carroll denied EEOC's motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law but granted its motion for a new trial.

The defendant filed an interlocutory appeal on the grant of the new trial but the appeal was dismissed by the Court of Appeals. Soon after the case returned to the district court, Judge Carroll recused himself from the case for unlisted reasons. Judge Frederick J. Martone who was reassigned to the case vacated the previous order granting a new trial and reinstated the jury verdict for the defendant. The case was quickly dismissed in pursuant to the jury verdict on 02/21/2007. Judge Martone denied EEOC's motion for reconsidering the reinstatement of the jury verdict.

Justin Kanter - 08/12/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Discrimination-basis
Religion discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Serrano's Mexican Restaurants, LLC
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 None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement None on record
Order Duration not on record
Case Closing Year 2005
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)
2:02-cv-01608-FJM (D. Ariz.) 05/21/2007
EE-AZ-0104-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order [Regarding Plaintiff's Motion for Judgment or New Trial] 09/01/2005 (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0104-0001.pdf | Detail
Order [Regarding Defendant's Motion for Reconsideration and to Postpone a Trial Setting] 09/28/2005 (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0104-0002.pdf | Detail
Order [Regarding Defendant's Motion to Reconsider and Vacate the Court's Order Granting the Plaintiff's Motion for a New Trial] 02/14/2007 (2007 WL 505342) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0104-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Judgment in a Civil Case 02/21/2007 (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0104-0004.pdf | Detail
Order [Regarding Plaintiff's Motion to Reconsider] 04/05/2007 (2007 WL 1063179) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0104-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Judges None on record
Monitors/Masters None on record
Plaintiff's Lawyers None on record
Defendant's Lawyers None on record
Other Lawyers None on record

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