University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Case Name EEOC v. Whirlpool Corporation EE-TN-0131
Docket / Court 3:06-cv-00593 ( M.D. Tenn. )
State/Territory Tennessee
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
The Memphis District Office and Nashville Area Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought this lawsuit against Whirlpool Corporation on June 9, 2006, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Judge John T. Nixon was assigned to this case. The ... read more >
The Memphis District Office and Nashville Area Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) brought this lawsuit against Whirlpool Corporation on June 9, 2006, in the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee. Judge John T. Nixon was assigned to this case. The complaint alleged sexual and racial harassment in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC sought injunctive and monetary relief for the individual complainant and attorneys fees for the EEOC.

Specifically, the complaint was brought after an African-American employee of Whirlpool complained that a fellow employee had racially and sexually harassed her. The harassment eventually led to the harasser physically attacking the complainant. Prior to the attack, the complainant complained to her supervisors about the harasser’s racialized and sexualized comments toward her, but her supervisors did very little to address her concerns. At one point, she complained to the supervisor and he responded by saying: “why don’t you just go ahead and f#@k him and get it over with?” After constantly rejecting the harasser’s sexual advances, the harasser physically attacked the complainant. The complainant eventually quit her job with Whirlpool Corporation because her therapist and psychologist advised her to do so. The complainant intervened in the case on July 24, 2006.

For the next two years, the parties engaged in discovery.

On December 21, 2009, the court ruled in favor of the plaintiffs. The court awarded monetary relief in back pay, front pay, and compensatory damages in the amount of $1,073,261. The court did not award any punitive damages. The court also did not grant any injunctive relief, stating that "because the workplace at issue, Defendant’s LaVergne Division, closed as of August 15, 2008 and Plaintiffs did not renew their request for this relief in their post-trial papers, the Court will not now grant injunctive or declaratory relief."

On February 20, 2010, the plaintiffs moved for attorney fees and costs. The court granted the plaintiff $215,015 in attorneys fees and costs on August 2, 2011.

Meanwhile, on April 26, 2011, the defendant appealed the district court's December ruling to the United States Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit. Without stating a reason, the parties then jointly moved to dismiss the appeal. The Sixth Circuit granted this joint motion on June 12, 2012, and the case is now closed.

Kevin Wilemon - 08/09/2008
Sean Whetstone - 06/04/2018


compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
No EEOC Final Resolution Type
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
General
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Whirlpool Corporation
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf an African-American woman employee.
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
Damages
Source of Relief Litigation
Filing Year 2006
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Docket(s)
3:06-cv-00593 (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0131-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/12/2012
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint
EE-TN-0131-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 06/09/2006
Complaint [Intervenor]
EE-TN-0131-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/24/2006
Memorandum Order [ECF# 194] (2009 WL 4975280) (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0131-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 12/21/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Order [ECF# 232] (2011 WL 3321291) (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0131-0005.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 08/02/2011
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Nixon, John Trice (M.D. Tenn.)
EE-TN-0131-0003 | EE-TN-0131-0005 | EE-TN-0131-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Allman, Andy L. (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Dills, Steven W. (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Holmes, Martin D. (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Ramsey, Sally (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Rogers, Helen Sfikas (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Shea, Siew-Ling (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Smith, Deidre (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Williams, Faye A. (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Backus, Asilia S. (Illinois)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Christlieb, David (Illinois)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Garrett, Timothy K. (Tennessee)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Hult, Keith C. (Illinois)
EE-TN-0131-9000
Wit, Adam C. (Illinois)
EE-TN-0131-9000

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -