University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
new search
page permalink
Docket / Court 2:03-cv-00517-DSC ( W.D. Pa. )
Additional Docket(s) 2:03-cv-01321-DSC  [ 03-1321 ]  Western District of PA (U.S.)
2:04-cv-00764  [ 04-764 ]  Western District of PA (U.S.)
State/Territory Pennsylvania
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On April 15, 2003, two African American employees of AK Steel Corporation brought this action in the Western District of Pennsylvania under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory and punitive ... read more >
On April 15, 2003, two African American employees of AK Steel Corporation brought this action in the Western District of Pennsylvania under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and 42 U.S.C. § 1981. Plaintiffs, represented by private counsel, asked the court for compensatory and punitive damages, as well as injunctive relief, claiming that AK Steel had discriminated against them because of their race. Specifically, the plaintiffs alleged that AK Steel had permitted its employees to use racial slurs and display racially divisive symbols without punishment. Plaintiffs further claimed they were denied opportunities for promotions and training that were not denied to their white coworkers, and that their supervisors discriminated on the basis of performance demands, job assignments, personal deportment, and other conditions of employment. Finally, Plaintiffs accused AK Steel of being willfully blind to their complaints and retaliating against African American employees through forced suspensions from employment or discharge for complaining about the work environment.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission instituted a related action on September 8, 2003 against AK Steel, seeking relief for eight employees, including the plaintiffs in the instant case (see EEOC v. AK Steel Corporation, EE-PA-0215 on this site). The cases were consolidated on August 26, 2004. One of the named plaintiffs in this action filed an additional complaint against AK Steel on May 21, 2005. That action was consolidated with this case on September 11, 2006.

On May 1, 2006, the District Court (Judge Cercone) denied AK Steel's motion for summary judgment. Lake v. AK Steel Corp., 2006 WL 1158610 (W.D. Pa. 2006). The parties reached a settlement agreement on January 31, 2007. The three-year settlement agreement includes anti-discrimination and anti-retaliation clauses, and a confidentiality clause regarding the private plaintiffs' and complainants' involvement in the case. The agreement requires AK Steel Corporation to post notice of the agreement in its Butler location, maintain records of all incidents of racial harassment, and make these records available to the EEOC within ten days of request. The EEOC is also permitted to interview any employee of AK Steel Corporation after five days notice. AK Steel Corporation must provide a training session for all employees, including separate training for supervisory and managerial personnel. New employees must receive training during new employee orientation. Training sessions must be conducted by an EEOC approved trainer. The decree includes a "notice and chance to remedy" dispute resolution process. AK Steel Corporation agreed to pay a total of $550,000. One private plaintiff was awarded $360,000 and the other private plaintiff was awarded $100,000. One non-party complainant was awarded $100,000 and 5 other non-party complainants were each awarded $38,000. The docket sheet does not show any further enforcement; the case was presumably closed in 2010.

Jennifer Gitter - 03/20/2013

compress summary

- click to show/hide ALL -
Issues and Causes of Action
click to show/hide detail
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Provide antidiscrimination training
Retaliation Prohibition
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Race discrimination
Private Suit Related / Consolidated with EEOC Suit
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
Causes of Action 42 U.S.C. § 1981
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) AK Steel Corporation
Plaintiff Description African American employees of AK Steel Corporation who complained of racial discrimination.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status outcome Not sought
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 Voluntary Dismissal
Order Duration 2007 - 2010
Filed 04/15/2003
Case Closing Year 2010
Case Ongoing No
Case Listing EE-PA-0215 : EEOC v. AK Steel Corporation (W.D. Pa.)
EE-PA-0210 : Lake v. AK Steel Corporation (W.D. Pa.)
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  See this case at (May provide additional documents and, for active cases, real-time alerts)
Court Docket(s)
W.D. Pa.
EE-PA-0001-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
W.D. Pa.
Opinion [Regarding Defendant's Motions for Summary Judgment] [ECF# 72] (2006 WL 1158610 / 2006 U.S.Dist.LEXIS 25118)
EE-PA-0001-0006.pdf | WESTLAW| LEXIS | Detail
not recorded
EEOC Press Release: "AK Steel Corporation to Pay $600,000 to Settle EEOC Race Harassment Lawsuit"
EE-PA-0001-0003.pdf | Detail
W.D. Pa.
Settlement Agreement [ECF# 104]
EE-PA-0001-0002.pdf | Detail

- click to show/hide ALL -

new search
page permalink

- top of page -