University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Bemis Company, Inc. EE-IN-0010
Docket / Court TH01-C-0112 -T/H ( S.D. Ind. )
State/Territory Indiana
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On May 21, 2001, the Indianapolis and Milwaukee offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a class action lawsuit under Title VII against Bemis Company, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The defendants were a global manufacturer of flexible ... read more >
On May 21, 2001, the Indianapolis and Milwaukee offices of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed a class action lawsuit under Title VII against Bemis Company, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Indiana. The defendants were a global manufacturer of flexible packaging and pressure sensitive materials based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with nearly 11,000 employees worldwide.

The EEOC claimed that the defendants had violated the rights of African American complainants by subjecting them to a hostile work environment. No private plaintiffs intervened in the suit.

On September 23, 2004, the parties entered into a consent decree, which was adopted by the Court the following day. Under the terms of the decree, the defendants paid the plaintiffs $245,000 in compensatory damages and placed $55,000 into an interest bearing account to be used as reward money for anyone providing information that lead to the criminal prosecution of any individuals perpetrating racial harassment in the Bemis, Inc. workplace. Any money that was left in the interest bearing account 90 days after the lawsuit was dismissed would be used to hire an outside consultant to conduct diversity training for the defendant's employees. Additionally, the defendant was required to post notice of the settlement of this case and to refrain from discrimination or retaliation in the future. We do not have a copy of the complaints in this case.

Keri Livingston - 02/08/2008


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Retaliation Prohibition
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Bemis Company, Inc.
Bemis Company, 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 2004 - 2007
Case Closing Year 2004
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)
TH01-112 -T/H (S.D. Ind.) 12/21/2004
EE-IN-0010-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
EEOC Sues Two Indiana Employers for Race Harrasment 05/22/2001
EE-IN-0010-0001 PDF | Detail
EEOC Litigation Settlement Report - September 2004 09/24/2004
EE-IN-0010-0002 PDF | Detail
Consent Decree 09/24/2004
EE-IN-0010-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: EEOC Regional Office
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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