EEOC's San Francisco and Seattle office jointly filed this Title VII lawsuit alleging discrimination based on national origin. The lawsuit was filed at the United States District Court for the District of Oregon (Portland) on 07/24/2001. EEOC alleged on behalf of a class of eight employees at defendant's Portland, Oregon facility that they were denied promotion to management jobs because they were Hispanics. The defendant Qwest Communications Corp. acquired US West Communications, Inc. which owned the Portland facility in June 2000. Qwest, headquartered in Denver, Colorado, maintained a broadband network that served 14 Western and Midwestern states and had nearly 14,000 employees.
Two of the eight class members intervened in EEOC's lawsuit. The private plaintiffs' complaint also made an allegation on behalf of a broader class. The parties later stipulated to dismiss the potential class action claim.
The lawsuit lasted for five years due to the parties' numerous discovery motions and requests for extension of time for discovery. Additionally, the parties stipulated to stay the proceeding in November 2003. The stay was not lifted until April 2004. After the case was transferred to a second magistrate judge, Judge Paul Papak, in September 2005, the parties reached a settlement at a judicial settlement conference presided by Judge Papak on 02/02/2006. A consent decree was entered into judgment by District Judge Michael W. Mosman on 03/29/2006.
Under the two-year consent decree, the defendant agreed to pay $320,000 for four named class members, including the two intervenor-plaintiffs, and $80,000 for the remaining four class members. The defendant also agreed to provide neutral references for the employees. Additionally, the defendant would maintain its annual training and report execution of the trainings to the EEOC.Justin Kanter - 08/12/2007