The Miami District office of the EEOC filed suit against Outback Steakhouse of Florida, Inc. on September 30, 1999 in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida. The EEOC claimed that Outback violated Title VII and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 when it discriminated against the ...
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The Miami District office of the EEOC filed suit against Outback Steakhouse of Florida, Inc. on September 30, 1999 in the U.S. District Court in the Middle District of Florida. The EEOC claimed that Outback violated Title VII and the Equal Pay Act of 1963 when it discriminated against the intervenor employee based on sex (female), paid her less money than her male counterparts, transferred her based on retaliation, attempted to force her to sign an illegal release concerning her rights under Title VII, and ultimately fired her for not signing the release. The intervenor intervened in December 1999 citing the same Title VII issues found in the EEOC's brief. After both sides filed motions for summary judgment, which were denied, the case went to trial on September 10, 2001. Eight days later, the jury returned a verdict for the plaintiff, awarding the plaintiff $27,108.28 in earnings, $36,894.61 in back pay, $50,000 for pain and suffering, and $2,100,000.00 in punitive damages. However, since punitive damages are capped by 42 U.S.C. s 1981a(b)(3)(D), the total award amounted to $364,002.89. This award was decreased to $346,369.43 after the court granted the defendant's motion to amend the judgment. The court also granted the intervenor $90,501.38 in fees.
Outback appealed a number of post-trial motions for a new trial, judgment as a matter of law, and others. The EEOC cross-appealed and motioned to dismiss the appeal for lack of jurisdiction, which the appellate court granted. The district court then sent the two parties to post-judgment mediation for injunctive relief and the issues raised in the appellate court. Ultimately, the court entered a post-judgment consent decree, awarding equitable relief. The defendant was required to conduct training twice a year; submit reports of complaints to the EEOC; post notice of equal employment rights; and refrain from discrimination and retaliation.Kevin Wilemon - 05/31/2007