University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. GO DADDY SOFTWARE INC EE-AZ-0051
Docket / Court CIV 04 2062 PHX DGC (2:04-cv-02062) ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
In September 2004, the EEOC district office of Phoenix, Arizona brought this suit against Go Daddy Software, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The EEOC claimed that a Muslim male, born in Morocco, was unlawfully discriminated against because of his national origin and ... read more >
In September 2004, the EEOC district office of Phoenix, Arizona brought this suit against Go Daddy Software, Inc. in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The EEOC claimed that a Muslim male, born in Morocco, was unlawfully discriminated against because of his national origin and religion in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. Specifically, the EEOC claimed that Go Daddy retaliated against the plaintiff for reporting discrimination. In a company reorganization, the employee was denied a promotion and offered the option of a demotion or a severance package only if he agreed not to file a lawsuit against the company. Prior to his termination, the plaintiff had worked for the company for several years and had been promoted multiple times. Shortly before his promotion interview, the person in charge of hiring made discriminatory comments to the employee. Other comments had also been made by his previous managers. The EEOC sought injunctive relief against Go Daddy, and monetary damages for the employee in the form of backpay with prejudgment interest. Further, the EEOC asked for compensation for losses from discriminatory employment practices, pain and suffering, and punitive damages.

The defendant moved for summary judgment on January 19, 2006. The EEOC then filed for summary judgment on recordkeeping claims on the same day. On June 27, 2006, the court (Judge David G. Campbell) granted partial summary judgment to the defendant concerning any constructive discharge claims, and denied partial summary judgment to the plaintiff. The court also denied the plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint in light of summary judgment.

Following a December 2006 jury trial, a jury found for the plaintiff on the remaining claims. Initially, the jury awarded the plaintiff $135,000 in backpay and $250,000 in punitive damages. But the court reduced the damages award to $36,552 in backpay, $5,156 in prejudgment interest, $5,000 in compensatory damages, and $195,000 in punitive damages following a motion from the defendant for judgment as a matter of law. The court granted the defendant's motion with respect to statutory caps on damages, but otherwise denied the motion.

In addition to paying damages, the defendant was ordered to comply with the recordkeeping requirements of Title VII and enjoined from retaliating against any employee who complained of discrimination. Additionally, the defendant was ordered to post a notice to all employees in at least three prominent in-house locations frequented by the defendant’s employees for a period of twelve months. The notice would explain the defendant’s responsibilities and the employees’ rights under Title VII, including the employees’ right to complain about or oppose discrimination free from retaliation, and would provide the addresses and telephone numbers of the Phoenix office of the EEOC and the Arizona Civil Rights Division.

The defendant appealed the denial of its motion for judgment of a matter of law to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on Jun 21, 2007 on the grounds that there was insufficient evidence that the employee had engaged in protected activity. In the alternative, the company argued that if he did engage in protected activity, that there was insufficient evidence of a causal connection between that activity and his termination. The case was heard by a three-judge panel of William A. Fletcher, John T. Noonan, and A. Wallace Tashima. The Ninth Circuit affirmed the district court on December 16, 2009. 581 F.3d 951. The Ninth Circuit subsequently denied Go Daddy's motion for a rehearing en banc. The Supreme Court also declined to hear the case. 562 U.S. 827. The case is now closed.

Joel Pettit - 06/07/2007
Elizabeth Johnson - 02/22/2019


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Recordkeeping
Retaliation Prohibition
Defendant-type
Retailer
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Promotion
Discrimination-basis
National origin discrimination
Religion discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
National Origin/Ethnicity
Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Go Daddy Software, Inc.
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of an employee that was discriminated against because of his national origin and religion.
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 Litigation
Order Duration 2009 - 2011
Filing Year 2004
Case Closing Year 2011
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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  RECENT RETALIATION CASES IN FEDERAL EMPLOYMENT DISCRIMINATION LAW
American Bar Association
Date: October 2009
By: William R. Tamayo (U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
2:04-cv-02062-DGC (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0051-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/24/2011
General Documents
Order [Summary Judgment] (2006 WL 1791295) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0051-0001.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 06/27/2006
Jury Verdict
EE-AZ-0051-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 12/15/2006
Order [Judgment] (2007 WL 1076701) (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0051-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 04/06/2007
Final Judgment in a Civil Case (D. Ariz.)
EE-AZ-0051-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/24/2007
show all people docs
Judges Campbell, David G. (D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-0004 | EE-AZ-0051-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Lopez, P. David (District of Columbia) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
O'Neill, Mary Jo (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Rosas, Lucila G. (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Shanley, Sally C. (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Smith, C. Emanuel (Alabama) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Biddle, Steven Gregory (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Culbertson, Kristin Renee (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Kasten, Lawrence Arthur (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Ogden, J. Mark (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000
Oller, Robert Shawn (Arizona) show/hide docs
EE-AZ-0051-9000

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