The Phoenix District Office of the EEOC brought this suit against BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles (doing business as Phoenix Coca-Cola Bottling Company) in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico in December 2002. The complaint alleged race discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The defendant allegedly subjected the complainant to race discrimination through disparate treatment of the complainant in the terms and conditions of his employment and discharging him because he was African American. The district court granted summary judgment for the defendant, which was reversed by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals (Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. BCI Coca-Cola Bottling Company of Los Angeles, 450 F. 3d 476 (10th Cir. 2006)).
The defendant sought review by the Supreme Court, on the question: "If an employer with no discriminatory motive fires a subordinate based in part on the influence of another employee with a discriminatory motive, can the employer be held liable for discrimination under Section 703(a) of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964?" The Court granted review in January 2007. In April 2007, however (prior to any oral argument) the defendant dismissed the case from the Supreme Court. The matter was therefore reopened in the district court. There, the parties entered into a consent decree that required the defendant to pay the complainant $250,000; train its employees; post and distribute a notice of employee rights under federal anti-discrimination laws; and submit semiannual reports to the EEOC.Kevin Wilemon - 05/29/2008