University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Sears Roebuck EE-IL-0202
Docket / Court 1:04-cv-07282 ( N.D. Ill. )
State/Territory Illinois
Case Type(s) Disability Rights-Pub. Accom.
Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
In November 2004, the EEOC's Chicago District Office filed suit in United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, against Sears Roebuck and Company, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the complaint, Sears Roebuck failed to live up to its ... read more >
In November 2004, the EEOC's Chicago District Office filed suit in United States District Court, Northern District of Illinois, against Sears Roebuck and Company, alleging a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. According to the complaint, Sears Roebuck failed to live up to its obligations under the ADA to make reasonable accommodations when it enacted an inflexible company policy mandating a maximum of one year leave time and refused to grant exceptions for employees with disabilities.

Sears Roebuck moved to dismiss the case, but the motion was denied. On March 14, 2008, the parties notified the court that they would participate in mediation. The parties held settlement discussions while still undergoing discovery, and advised the court in the summer of 2009 that they had reached a settlement.

On September 29, 2009, Judge Wayne R. Andersen signed an order approving a consent decree. The consent decree required Sears to make payment to individual claimants from a $6.2 million Qualified Settlement Fund, prohibited it from discriminating against employees by not providing reasonable accommodations and from retaliating against employees who made allegations of discrimination, and required it to provide training to human resources personnel. The order also required Sears to post notice of the decree to its employees, and required detailed record keeping and reporting. Finally, the order required revision of Sears’ workers compensation policies. Each party bore its own costs and attorneys’ fees.

The consent decree lasted for three years, and the matter appears to be closed.

Jason Chester - 05/23/2008
Alexandra Gilewicz - 03/25/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Monitoring
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Reasonable Accommodation
Recordkeeping
Retaliation Prohibition
Training
Defendant-type
Retailer
Disability
disability, unspecified
Discrimination-area
Accommodation / Leave
Discrimination-basis
Disability (inc. reasonable accommodations)
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
No EEOC Final Resolution Type
General
Disparate Treatment
Reasonable Accommodations
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Type of Facility
Non-government for profit
Causes of Action Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111 et seq.
Defendant(s) Sears Roebuck & Company
Sears Roebuck & Company
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one or more workers.
Indexed Lawyer Organizations EEOC
Class action status sought No
Class action status granted No
Prevailing Party Plaintiff
Public Int. Lawyer Yes
Nature of Relief Damages
Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement
Source of Relief None yet
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - 2012
Case Closing Year 2012
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
click to show/hide detail
  Microsoft Gender Discrimination Class Action Lawsuit
Date: Oct. 14, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Age Discrimination Class Action seeks Fair Employment for Older PwC Applicants
http://www.pwcagecase.com/
Date: Apr. 27, 2016
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Smith Barney Gender Discrimination
https://www.lieffcabraser.com/employment/smith-barney/
Date: August 2008
By: Outten & Golden
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Megacases, Diversity, and the Elusive Goal of Workplace Reform
Date: Mar. 1, 2008
By: Nancy Levit (University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law Faculty)
Citation: 49 B.C. L. Rev. 367 (2008)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

  Second Generation Employment Discrimination: A Structural Approach
Date: Apr. 1, 2001
By: Susan Sturm (Columbia Law School Faculty)
Citation: 101 Colum. L. Rev. 458 (2001)
[ Detail ] [ External Link ]

Docket(s)
1:04-cv-07282 (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0202-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/04/2010
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint
EE-IL-0202-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 11/10/2004
Statement [Order on Motion to Dismiss] (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0202-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/22/2005
Federal Court Says EEOC Disability Bias Lawsuit Against Sears Roebuck to Proceed
EE-IL-0202-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/02/2005
Judges Andersen, Wayne R. (N.D. Ill.)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cohen, Ethan M.M. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
DeCamp, Aaron (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Gochanour, Gregory M. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Hamilton, Deborah Lois (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Hendrickson, John C. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Alikhan, Saira Janine (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Bess, Amy L. (District of Columbia)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Devaney, Deborah A. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Fain, Lisa Zachary (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Farah, Mariam Abdullahi (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Goldman, Jeffrey S. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Gonsalves, Terance A. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
King, Christopher Qualley (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Linsenmaier, Samuel Phillip (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Schlueter, Tobias Edward (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Tesher, Ariel J. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000
Wallace, Christopher A. (Illinois)
EE-IL-0202-9000

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