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Case Name Espana v. Mid-West Wire Specialties EE-IL-0313
Docket / Court 1:01-cv-00210 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Case Summary
On January 11, 2001, two female employees of Mid-West Wire Specialties, an Illinois company, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued their employer alleging that it had subjected them to a sex-based harassment, in violation of Title ... read more >
On January 11, 2001, two female employees of Mid-West Wire Specialties, an Illinois company, filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois. The plaintiffs sued their employer alleging that it had subjected them to a sex-based harassment, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Represented by private counsel, they sought injunctive and monetary relief.

Both plaintiffs claimed that male employees repeatedly harassed and mistreated them by forcefully kissing them, grabbing their bodies, demoting one of the plaintiffs when she rejected her supervisor’s sexual gestures, lowering their salaries, making sexually explicit comments, and asking to take off their clothes, among other actions. The plaintiffs alleged that as a result of these actions by the defendant and its employees, they were harmed in many ways, including loss in pay, mental anguish, and damages to their employability and earning capacity.

On August 30, 2001, the plaintiffs filed a first amended complaint, which added a female complainant and added claims that the two initial plaintiffs represented a class of employees affected by a pattern and practice of a hostile work environment, quid pro quo sexual harassment and retaliation. On June 25, 2002, the plaintiffs filed a second amended complaint, which added a fourth female complainant. The complaint asked that the class consist of all female employees, temporary employees, and applicants for employment, who have been employed or applied to be employed by the defendant on or after July 1996 and who are subject to the defendant’s employment and human resources policies, including but not limited to current or former employees, and who have been, continue to be, or may in the future be, adversely affected by the defendant’s practices.

On July 26, 2002, the parties entered into a Settlement Agreement, which provided damages for the named plaintiff and a class of employees, and some injunctive relief.

The settlement class in the agreement covered A) all current and former full-time female employees of the defendant who worked there at any time between January 1, 1995 and December 31, 2001; B) all temporary female workers at the defendant company and performed services there for any 20 consecutive work-days between January 1, 1998 and December 31, 2001.

The settlement agreement awarded monetary damages of as follows: 1) $500 in punitive damages to each temporary worker in the class; 2) $2,000 in punitive damages to each employee in the class; 3) $20,000 to each of the two complainants that were added in the first and second amended complaints, $15,000 of which was punitive damages and $5,000 was backpay; 4) $35,000 to each of the two initial plaintiffs, $30,000 of which was punitive damages and $5,000 was backpay. The defendant was also obligated to pay $130,000 in attorney fees. The total was capped at $283,500.

In addition, there was non-monetary relief. It was all scheduled to happen within 60 days of the settlement; no period was set for enforcement. It provided:
1) Purge of specified disciplinary notices in class member personnel files
2) A ban on rehiring of a named employee (who had been accused of the most egregious harassment)
3) Retention of a Spanish-speaking administrator to report directly to the defendant's President, responsible for enforcing the Company's harassment policy, including the investigation of complaints.
4) Enforcement of a Harassment Policy promulgated February 15, 2002.

After a fairness hearing, Judge Sidney Schenkier approved the settlement agreement on August 2, 2002. No further entries appear on the docket sheet. The case is now closed.

Lisa Koo - 02/09/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Expungement of Employment Record
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Discrimination-area
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Sex discrimination
General
Pattern or Practice
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Midwest Wire Specialties, Inc
Plaintiff Description Current and former full-time female employees of MWWS who worked there at any time between Jan. 1, 1995 and Dec. 31, 2001. All female workers from temp agencies who worked at MWWS for at least 20 consecutive days between Jan. 1, 1998 and Dec. 31, 2001.
Class action status sought Yes
Class action status granted Yes
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer No
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2002 - 2002
Filing Year 2001
Case Closing Year 2002
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:01-cv-00210 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0313-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/20/2004
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1]
EE-IL-0313-0007.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/11/2001
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Second Amended Complaint - Class Action
EE-IL-0313-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/25/2002
Source: Westlaw
Joint Motion to Conditionally Certify Settlement Classes, and Preliminarily Approve Proposed Settlement [ECF# 47]
EE-IL-0313-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Class Action Settlement Agreement [ECF# 48]
EE-IL-0313-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/26/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order of Conditional Certification of Settlement Classes [ECF# 49] (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0313-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/02/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Notice of Class Action and Proposed Settlement [ECF# 51]
EE-IL-0313-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/02/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Final Judgment and Order of Dismissal [ECF# 53] (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0313-0006.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/08/2002
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
show all people docs
Judges Pallmeyer, Rebecca R. (N.D. Ill.) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-0005
Schenkier, Sidney I. (N.D. Ind.) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-0006 | EE-IL-0313-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Asonye, Uche O. (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-0001 | EE-IL-0313-0002 | EE-IL-0313-0003 | EE-IL-0313-0004 | EE-IL-0313-0007 | EE-IL-0313-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Anderson, Jane Farwell (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-9000
Colley, Donna S. (Nebraska) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-9000
Duffee, Michael W. (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-0002 | EE-IL-0313-0003 | EE-IL-0313-9000
Martin, Julia A. (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-9000
Moore, Thomas Stephen (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0313-9000

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