University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name Gonzalez, et al. v. Comcast Corporation, et al. EE-DE-0038
Docket / Court 1:03-cv-00445-KAJ ( D. Del. )
State/Territory Delaware
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On May 1, 2003, four former employees of one or more Comcast family companies filed this employment discrimination action in the U.S. District Court of Delaware. Represented by private counsel, they alleged that Comcast and several individual employees in supervisory and management positions had ... read more >
On May 1, 2003, four former employees of one or more Comcast family companies filed this employment discrimination action in the U.S. District Court of Delaware. Represented by private counsel, they alleged that Comcast and several individual employees in supervisory and management positions had discriminated against them on the basis of race in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act and federal law. The plaintiffs also claimed that the defendants breached Delaware state contract law of good faith and fair dealing and that the employee supervisors violated federal conspiracy laws by conspiring, or failing to prevent a conspiracy, to violate their equal rights under the law. The case was assigned to Judge Kent A. Jordan.

The plaintiffs were all employed at a Comcast call center office in New Castle, Delaware. The plaintiffs worked under the supervision of an African-American Human Resources manager. The HR manager had sought but was denied the opportunity to apply for a promotion to the position of HR Director, allegedly because of her race and gender. She filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and the Delaware Division of Labor, charging Comcast with discrimination, which was served on the defendants on January 2, 2002. Two days later, the HR manager and her staff were all fired. Those staff members became the plaintiffs of this action. They alleged that they were fired in retaliation for expressing their support for their HR manager’s actions. They alleged that the individual named defendants were actively involved in the firing decision, and that they met to discuss the most effective way to cover up their unlawful discrimination of the HR manager. On August 28, 2003, the court ordered the parties to discuss Alternative Dispute Resolution options.

On January 15, 2004, the plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, adding Comcast New Castle as a defendant and asserting three additional claims of fraud and deceit, tort, and civil conspiracy all under Delaware law.

On May 18, 2004, the defendants filed a motion for partial summary judgment challenging the plaintiffs’ claims, which the judge granted in part and denied in part on July 30, 2004. The court granted summary judgment in favor of all the defendants on the claims of employment discrimination, conspiracy to interfere with civil rights, and failure to prevent the conspiracy. The court granted partial summary judgment on the claim that one defendant had violated the plaintiffs' equal rights under the law, because there was not enough evidence to hold that particular defendant liable for alleged discriminatory conduct. But the court denied summary judgment for all the defendants on the claim that they had violated Delaware state contract law.

In September and October 2004, the parties prepared for trial. For reasons unknown, the parties filed a stipulated dismissal with prejudice on November 5 and the case was closed.

Esther Vinarov - 11/10/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Constitutional Clause
Equal Protection
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Private Suit Related / Consolidated with EEOC Suit
General
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
State law
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Comcast Corporation
Plaintiff Description former employees of one or more of the Comcast family of companies
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Defendant
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief None
Source of Relief None
Form of Settlement Voluntary Dismissal
Filing Year 2003
Case Closing Year 2004
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:03-cv-00445-KAJ (D. Del.)
EE-DE-0038-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/05/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Memorandum Opinion [Defendant's Partial Motion for Summary Judgment] (2004 WL 1737693) (D. Del.)
EE-DE-0038-0002.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/30/2004
Memorandum Order [Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to Amend Complaint] (2004 WL 2009366) (D. Del.)
EE-DE-0038-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/25/2004

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