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Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. New York State Department of Correctional Services EE-NY-0288
Docket / Court 1:07-cv-02587-SAS ( S.D.N.Y. )
Additional Docket(s) 1:08-cv-04419-SAS  [ 08-419 ]  S.D.N.Y.
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s)
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On March 29, 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of thirteen women employed by Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Ten additional women were later identified as complainants. The plaintiff sued New York State ... read more >
On March 29, 2007, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit in the Southern District of New York on behalf of thirteen women employed by Sing Sing Correctional Facility. Ten additional women were later identified as complainants. The plaintiff sued New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) under the Equal Pay Act and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, alleging that the defendant violated federal law by providing inferior benefits to female employees on maternity leave. The plaintiff sought permanent injunctive relief, reinstatement for several employees, backpay, and attorney’s fees.

Specifically, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant gave male employees with work-related injuries up to six months of paid workers’ compensation leave, and though women were allowed the same leave, pregnant employees on paid workers’ compensation leave were involuntary switched to maternity leave at or around the time they gave birth. The company’s maternity leave policy required that women first use their accrued paid time off before switching to sick leave with half pay and then unpaid sick leave. The plaintiff alleged that the defendant, by failing to make a case-by-case judgement concerning each female employee’s eligibility for workers’ compensation, engaged in employment discrimination through its categorical determination that female employees who had recently given birth should be transferred from workers’ compensation leave and benefits to the lesser-paid maternity leave policy.

On October 23, 2007, Judge Shira A. Scheindlin referred the case to Magistrate Judge Henry B. Pitman for settlement.

On May 21, 2008, the parties reached a settlement that provided $972,000 in compensatory damages, liquidated damages, back pay, and interest to the complainants. The order also contained a provision through which the court could order monetary relief to additional victims identified after the settlement. The order was subject to monitoring by the EEOC and the court for up to five years. Although it was not made clear on the docket, the consent decree indicates that the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) got involved in this matter and filed a separate case in 2008 (08-4419). The two plaintiff parties shared a consent decree with similar stipulations. Enforcement of the DOJ’s consent decree lasted three years.

The settlement also enjoined DOCS from engaging in any act or practice that discriminated against any employee on the basis of pregnancy or childbirth, including the removal of any female employee from workers’ compensation solely because of childbirth. The DOCS was required to provide each employee who requested to use maternity or child-rearing leave with written notification of the company’s policy. Additionally, the court ordered DOCS to provide for its administrative staff anti-discrimination training, including a discussion of pregnancy discrimination and discrimination in pay and benefits. DOCS was to forward a copy of attendance sheets for such trainings to EEOC and to the court. The settlement also allowed for the later identification and inclusion of employees who were affected by discriminatory practices of DOCS but not listed in the initial complaint. A total of twenty-three complainants were in the initial consent decree.

Since the order was signed in 2008, it has been modified to include 5 more women. The defendant paid a total of almost $147,000 to these women.

The consent decree is now complete and the case closed.

Nina Orteza - 10/05/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Reporting
Training
Defendant-type
Corrections
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Pay / Benefits
Discrimination-basis
Pregnancy discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Causes of Action Equal Pay Act, 29 U.S.C. § 206(d)
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) New York State Department of Correctional Services
Plaintiff Description A group of female employees at at a correctional facility.
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 Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief Settlement
Form of Settlement Private Settlement Agreement
Order Duration 2008 - 2013
Filing Year 2007
Case Closing Year 2013
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
1:07-cv-02587 (S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0288-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/12/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1] (2007 WL 1368607)
EE-NY-0288-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 03/29/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Amended Complaint [ECF# 4]
EE-NY-0288-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/24/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order and Stipulation Providing for Injunction and Affirmative Relief [ECF# 12]
EE-NY-0288-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 05/21/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Scheindlin, Shira A. (E.D.N.Y., S.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0288-0002 | EE-NY-0288-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Adams, Raechel (New York)
EE-NY-0288-0001 | EE-NY-0288-0002 | EE-NY-0288-0003 | EE-NY-0288-9000
Cooper, Ronald S. (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0288-0001 | EE-NY-0288-0003
Garcia, Michael J. (New York)
EE-NY-0288-0002
Grossman, Elizabeth (New York)
EE-NY-0288-0001 | EE-NY-0288-0002 | EE-NY-0288-0003
Lee, James L. (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0288-0001 | EE-NY-0288-0003
Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)
EE-NY-0288-0001 | EE-NY-0288-0003
Rose, Robert D. (New York)
EE-NY-0288-0001 | EE-NY-0288-0003
Waszmer, Wendy H. (New York)
EE-NY-0288-0002
Defendant's Lawyers Cuomo, Andrew M. (New York)
EE-NY-0288-0002
Hathaway, Barbara (New York)
EE-NY-0288-0002 | EE-NY-0288-9000

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