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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Scientific Colors, Inc. d/b/a "Apollo Colors" EE-IL-0201
Docket / Court 1:00-cv-00171 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
In January of 2000, the Chicago District Office of the EEOC brought suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, against Scientific Colors, Inc., a manufacturer of pigments operating outside of Chicago. The suit was brought under Title VII on behalf of African-American ... read more >
In January of 2000, the Chicago District Office of the EEOC brought suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, against Scientific Colors, Inc., a manufacturer of pigments operating outside of Chicago. The suit was brought under Title VII on behalf of African-American employees who allegedly were subjected to a racially hostile work environment when their employer failed to promptly remove and properly respond to racist graffiti and displays of hangman's nooses.

A number of the employees intervened as plaintiffs, bringing additional claims under 42 U.S.C. ß 1981, which grants members of all races equal rights to enter into contracts, and the case was consolidated with a private suit, 1:99-cv-01959. The litigation was extremely contentious from the get-go, and included an extensive series of discovery disputes as well as a motion by the plaintiffs to sanction and disqualify the defendant's counsel for instigating undercover investigations that resulted in direct contact with some of the plaintiffs (the motion was denied; Jones v. Scientific Colors, Inc., 201 F. Supp. 2d 820 (N.D. Ill. 2001)).

The EEOC moved for partial summary judgment, and the motion was granted in part and denied in part. The case was finally resolved in March 2002 with a consent decree. Scientific Colors agreed to pay a total of $1.825 million, including attorney's fees. The company was also required by the consent decree to implement a new anti-discrimination policy, to conduct anti-discrimination training programs for its employees, and to install video cameras on their premises in order to identify and discipline any employees responsible for racist graffiti or other similar vandalism.

Shankar Viswanathan - 06/11/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
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
Discipline
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
State Anti-Discrimination Law
State law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Scientific Colors, 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 Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2002 - 2005
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing EE-IL-0201 : EEOC v. Scientific Colors, Inc. d/b/a "Apollo Colors" (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0302 : Jones, et al v. Scientific Colors (N.D. Ill.)
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)
1:00-cv-00171 (N.D. Ill.) 05/24/2002
EE-IL-0201-9000.pdf | Detail
General Documents
Order [granting motion to compel discovery] 09/22/2000 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0001.pdf | Detail
Order Affirming Order Denying Protective Order 11/15/2000 (2000 WL 33243461) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0017.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Order [Compelling Production of Documents] 05/14/2001 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0013.pdf | Detail
Order [granting motion to compel] 05/22/2001 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0003.pdf | Detail
Order [granting and denying motion to compel] 05/22/2001 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0004.pdf | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order Upholding Magistrate Judge's Orders of May 9, 2001 06/14/2001 (2001 WL 668943 / 2001 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 26031) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0018.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order [granting motion to compel 06/19/2001 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0005.pdf | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order on Objections to Various Magistrate Judge Rulings 07/03/2001 (2001 WL 902778) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0019.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order Sustaining Magistrate Judge's Ruling 07/26/2001 (2001 WL 845650 / 2001 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 10633) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0020.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Order [granting motion to compel] 07/31/2001 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0006.pdf | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order Granting Leave to Amend 08/06/2001 (2001 WL 883689 / 2001 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 11403) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0021.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Memorandum Opinion and Order 11/05/2001 (201 F.Supp.2d 820) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0016.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
Document Source: Google Scholar
Consent Decree 03/22/2002
EE-IL-0201-0008.pdf | Detail
EEOC Settles Racial Harassment Suit for $1.8 Million Against Apollo Colors of Illinois 03/27/2002
EE-IL-0201-0009.pdf | Detail
Order of Partial Dismissal 04/24/2002 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0011.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Order of Dismissal 05/24/2002 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0201-0012.pdf | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
FY 2002 Office of General Counsel Annual Report 12/31/2003
EE-IL-0201-0010.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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