University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Cardinal Restaurants, Inc. Dba Taco Bell EE-OH-0019
Docket / Court C2-01-941 ( S.D. Ohio )
State/Territory Ohio
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
In September 2001, the EEOC's Cleveland office filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Cardinal Restaurants, Inc./Heartland Bell, Inc. d/b/a Taco Bell, alleging sexual harassment against a female former employee in violation of Title VII of the Civil ... read more >
In September 2001, the EEOC's Cleveland office filed this suit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio against Cardinal Restaurants, Inc./Heartland Bell, Inc. d/b/a Taco Bell, alleging sexual harassment against a female former employee in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The complainant intervened in January 2002. The parties proceeded with discovery when, in December 2002 the defendant filed for summary judgment. The defendant's motion was granted in September 2003. The court ruled that the defendant's propounded affirmative defense, which is available when the alleged harasser was a supervisor and when no tangible harm was alleged by the employee, won by a preponderance of the evidence. The holding required the court to agree that (a) the employer exercised reasonable care to prevent and correct promptly sexual harassment and (b) the employee unreasonable failed to take advantage of any preventative or corrective opportunities made available by the employer. The court was influenced by the defendant's Employee Handbook, posted notices, harassment hot-line, zero-tolerance policy and open-door policy for reporting harassment and by the plaintiff-intervenor's inability to use any outlet provided her despite being aware of the various ways to report harassment. The court also noted that the plaintiff-intervenor has a "learning disability" and failed to pass the ninth grade. Following that dispositive motion, the EEOC appealed to the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals in December 2003 but, by stipulation of the parties, voluntarily dismissed the appeal in May 2004.

Jason Chester - 08/11/2007


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Cardinal Restaurants, 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 Defendant
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 2003
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)
03-4364 (U.S. Court of Appeals) 05/20/2004
EE-OH-0019-9001 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
2:01-cv-00941-GCS-MRA (S.D. Ohio) 05/24/2004
EE-OH-0019-9000 PDF | Detail
PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Opinion and Order [Re: Summary Judgment] 09/24/2003 (S.D. Ohio)
EE-OH-0019-0001 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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