University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. GEORGIA PACIFIC EE-NC-0129
Docket / Court 5:00-cv-00700-BO ( E.D.N.C. )
State/Territory North Carolina
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On September 21, 2000, the Raleigh Area Office of the EEOC brought this suit in the Eastern District of North Carolina under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Georgia Pacific Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of packaging and building materials. The EEOC, who ... read more >
On September 21, 2000, the Raleigh Area Office of the EEOC brought this suit in the Eastern District of North Carolina under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 against Georgia Pacific Corporation, one of the world's largest manufacturers of packaging and building materials. The EEOC, who brought this action on behalf of several of the company's male African-American employees and a male Hispanic employee, sought monetary and injunctive relief, claiming that Georgia Pacific's Butler, N.C. branch had engaged in discrimination based on race and national origin, sex discrimination, and retaliation against those who complained of the company's discriminatory practices. Specifically, the complaint alleged that the company's African-American employees were subjected to a hostile work environment that included racially derogatory comments, graffiti, and name-calling, and that many were fired or constructively discharged due to their complaints about the discriminatory practices. Additionally, the EEOC claimed that a Hispanic employee was subjected to national origin discrimination, primarily through derogatory comments, and sexual harassment, which included explicit comments and gestures and unwelcome touching. This employee was constructively discharged in retaliation for his complaints about the work environment.

On December 20, 2000, the court granted four former Georgia Pacific employees' motion to intervene in the lawsuit. In addition to a Title VII claim, the plaintiff-intervenors (who included the discrimination victims named in the original EEOC complaint) brought suit under 42 U.S.C. § 1981. The complaint in intervention further detailed Georgia Pacific's discriminatory practices, which included KKK, swastika, and confederate flag graffiti, and discriminatory work policies such as not letting African-American employees use the bathroom when needed. One of the plaintiff-intervenors also claimed that he was denied the opportunity to pursue a promotion due to his national origin.

On February 1, 2001, the EEOC and Georgia Pacific signed a settlement agreement, which set forth that the Hispanic plaintiff-intervenor had received a monetary settlement embodied in a separate agreement and that he agreed to dismiss his claim with prejudice, and that if a satisfactory Consent Decree was entered or if the EEOC prevailed at trial, Georgia Pacific would have to provide training to its management and employees on Title VII and the company's anti-discrimination policy, report to the EEOC semi-annually, and would submit to EEOC oversight.

The Consent Decree was entered on March 30, 2001, and was effective for two years. The class of African-American employees who were working or who had worked at Georgia Pacific's Butler, N.C. facility were awarded $198,417.05. One of the named African-American plaintiff-intervenors was further awarded $1,582.95. The Consent Decree additionally set forth the requirements discussed in the settlement agreement, including mandatory training, reporting, and EEOC oversight, and included a prohibition against discrimination.

Jennifer Gitter - 04/05/2013


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Male
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Expungement of Employment Record
Monitoring
Neutral/Positive Reference
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reporting
Retaliation Prohibition
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
General
Disparate Impact
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Hispanic
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
State law
42 U.S.C. § 1981
Defendant(s) Georgia Pacific Corporation
Plaintiff Description The EEOC brought suit on behalf of a class of African-American workers as well as a Hispanic worker who complained of discrimination based on race and national origin, sex discrimination, and retaliation at their place of employment (Georgia Pacific Corporation).
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
Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2001 - 2003
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)
5:00-cv-00700-BO (E.D.N.C.) 11/05/2001
EE-NC-0129-9000 PDF | Detail
General Documents
Complaint 09/21/2000
EE-NC-0129-0001 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention 12/20/2000
EE-NC-0129-0002 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Settlement Agreement 02/01/2001
EE-NC-0129-0003 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree 03/30/2001
EE-NC-0129-0004 PDF | Detail
Document Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
EEOC Press Release 04/03/2001
EE-NC-0129-0005 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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