University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. AMERICAN SEAFOODS COMPANY EE-WA-0004
Docket / Court 2:98-cv-00525-WLD ( W.D. Wash. )
State/Territory Washington
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Case Summary
The Seattle office of the EEOC entered this suit as an intervenor plaintiff against American Seafoods Company in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in September 1998. With private counsel, the plaintiffs had filed a lawsuit in state court which was then removed to the ... read more >
The Seattle office of the EEOC entered this suit as an intervenor plaintiff against American Seafoods Company in the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington in September 1998. With private counsel, the plaintiffs had filed a lawsuit in state court which was then removed to the District Court for the Western District of Washington. We do not have a copy of the intervenor complaint, but it alleged discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. More specifically, the complaint alleged American Seafoods Company violated Title VII by subjecting Vietnamese employees to unlawful harassment and inequitable conditions of employment, by preventing them from being promoted, subjecting them to demotion, reducing their wages and constructively discharging them. After several discovery motions filed by the private plaintiffs were granted and several partial motions for summary judgment were granted, the parties settled the case in September 1999 through the entry of a consent decree.

The consent decree included non-discrimination and non-retaliation clauses, required the defendant to develop an anti-discrimination policy and post and distribute the policy. The defendant was also required to train all management and supervisory employees with regard to job training and promotion programs for processors and policies and procedures regarding discrimination and harassment. Additional training was required of vessel personnel and was required to include a videotaped presentation by a high ranking official within American Seafoods emphasizing the company's commitment to conduct hiring, job assignment, training and promotion practices in a non-discriminatory manner. The decree also called for the establishment of a job training and promotion program for processors to increase the employment opportunities for processors. The defendant was also required to utilize a Consent Decree Administrator to investigate employee complaints of discrimination. In addition, the decree required American Seafoods to report to the EEOC on internal and external complaints of discrimination and give the EEOC access to personnel officials, managers, and other employees. The injunctive parts of the decree had a two year term. If the EEOC found non-compliance, the decree required the EEOC to give notice to American Seafoods and allow for mediation prior to the application to the Court for enforcement. American Seafoods also agreed to pay $1,250,000 to the eighteen employees to be distributed by plaintiffs' private counsel and American Seafoods.

Justin Kanter - 06/06/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Comply with advertising/recruiting requirements
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Retaliation Prohibition
Discrimination-area
Demotion
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Promotion
Training
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
EEOC-centric
EEOC intervened in private suit
Intervention in Private Suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Race
Asian/Pacific Islander
Causes of Action State Anti-Discrimination Law
State law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) American Seafoods Company
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one or more workers.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations None on record
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 1999 - 2001
Case Closing Year 1999
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)
2:98-cv-0525-WLD (W.D. Wash.) 09/21/1999
EE-WA-0004-9000.pdf | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Order on Plaintiffs' Motions for Partial Summary Judgment 06/01/1999 (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0004-0001.pdf | Detail
Order on Defendant's Motion to Bifurcate 06/11/1999 (W.D. Wash.)
EE-WA-0004-0003.pdf | Detail
Consent Decree 09/21/1999
EE-WA-0004-0005.pdf | 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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