University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Yellow Transportation, Inc. and YRC, INC. EE-IL-0330
Docket / Court 09 CV 7693 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On December 10, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Yellow Transportation, Inc., and YRC, Inc., for discriminatory employment practices on behalf of 14 current or former black employees and the class of similarly situated black employees. The EEOC alleged ... read more >
On December 10, 2009, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed suit against Yellow Transportation, Inc., and YRC, Inc., for discriminatory employment practices on behalf of 14 current or former black employees and the class of similarly situated black employees. The EEOC alleged that Yellow Transportation (later merged into YRC) had violated §703(a) of Title VII, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2(a) by subjecting black employees to greater scrutiny, more frequent and greater discipline, lower paying and less favorable job assignments, more difficult and time-consuming work, and a hostile work environment. The EEOC sought injunctive and monetary relief, including economic and noneconomic harm to the employees, punitive damages, development of policies and programs to provide equal employment opportunity and eradicate the effects of its past discrimination. The EEOC also sought to recover its costs. The charging parties later intervened as plaintiffs on their own behalf, filing their complaint on October 6, 2010. The Intervenors' complaint proceeded on the same grounds as the EEOC's allegations but added claims for retaliation.

Examples of the racial hostility in the Intervening Plaintiffs' work environment include repeated hanging of nooses at the workplace, racial slurs and racially motivated graffiti in bathroom stalls, displays by white employees of racially hostile symbols (such as the Confederate flag and "KKK") on clothing or in the form of tattoos, and supervisors' failure to address complaints adequately. Additional examples of the alleged disparate treatment include delaying full-time hiring of black employees (which gave white employees greater seniority), denial of work opportunities that would lead to advancement, giving shorter sick leaves to black injured workers than white, granting less overtime to blacks than whites, and denying blacks - but not whites - the opportunity to choose who they worked with.

The parties reached a settlement, which the Court (Magistrate Judge Susan Cox) entered as a consent decree on September 25, 2012. The decree resolved this case and the related case Brown v. Yellow Transportation, Inc. , linked below (Clearinghouse code: EE-IL-0329). The decree awarded a total $11 million to the class of plaintiffs from the two cases to be distributed according to the specified claims process. Attorney's fees were awarded to the Intervening Plaintiffs' attorneys in the amount of $1.1 million out of the $11 million award. No significant injunction was granted because the facility at which the Plaintiffs originally worked had closed and the facility to which those who had not been fired were transferred (Chicago Heights) was already under an adequate consent decree from the cases EEOC v. Roadway Express, Inc., linked below (Clearinghouse code: EE-IL-0189), and William Bandy v. Roadway Express, Inc.. The court simply requires a notice to be posted at the remaining facility. Final approval of the distribution of the settlement funds was granted on April 8, 2013. Because the duration of the notice provision is co-extensive with the duration of the Chicago Heights decree, the decree is technically in effect as of this writing. For all intents and purposes the case is closed.

Kenneth Gray - 06/14/2013

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Pay / Benefits
Race discrimination
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
Private Suit Related / Consolidated with EEOC Suit
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Yellow Transportation, Inc.
YRC, Inc.
Plaintiff Description EEOC filing on behalf of 14 black current or former employees and the class of black employees at the relevant job sites.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Filed Pro Se No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Attorneys fees
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2012 - 2015
Filed 12/10/2009
Case Ongoing No reason to think so
Case Listing EE-IL-0329 : Brown v. Yellow Transportation, Inc. (N.D. Ill.)
Additional Resources
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  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
09-cv-07693 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0330-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/08/2013
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint, Jury Trial Demand [ECF# 1]
EE-IL-0330-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/09/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum Opinion and Order [ECF# 41] (2010 WL 2891673) (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0330-0004.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/21/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Complaint in Intervention [ECF# 49]
EE-IL-0330-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 10/06/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 192] (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0330-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 09/25/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
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Judges Cox, Susan (N.D. Ill.) [Magistrate] show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-0004 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Babbitt, Carol Coplan (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Caporusso, Catherine A (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Cohen, Ethan M.M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0001 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Fiorito, Bradley S. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Gochanour, Gregory M. (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0001 | EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Hamilton, Deborah Lois (Illinois) show/hide docs
Hendrickson, John C. (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0001 | EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Mrizek, Richard John (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Schmidt, Randall D (Illinois) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0002 | EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Szromba, Jeanne B. (Illinois) show/hide docs
Walker, Grayson Sang (Illinois) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Chairez, Joseph L. (California) show/hide docs
Cummins, Tiffany Lynn (Florida) show/hide docs
Ellerson, Tracey L. (Florida) show/hide docs
Hines, Erin Bolan (Illinois) show/hide docs
Mersol, Gregory V. (Ohio) show/hide docs
Nybo, Christopher L. (Illinois) show/hide docs
O'Donnell, Margo Wolf (Illinois) show/hide docs
Seegers, James Warren (Florida) show/hide docs
Shaughnessy, Kevin W (Florida) show/hide docs
EE-IL-0330-0003 | EE-IL-0330-9000
Williams, Jeffrey T. (Ohio) show/hide docs

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