University of Michigan Law School
Civil Rights Litigation Clearinghouse
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Case Name EEOC v. Preferred People Staffing EE-MA-0013
Docket / Court 4:06 CV 40190 (FDS) ( D. Mass. )
State/Territory Massachusetts
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
The New York District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a putative class action complaint against Preferred Labor LLC (doing business as Preferred People Staffing) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in August 2006. The complaint alleged sex ... read more >
The New York District Office of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a putative class action complaint against Preferred Labor LLC (doing business as Preferred People Staffing) in the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts in August 2006. The complaint alleged sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. According to the EEOC, the defendant employment agency discriminated against female applicants on the basis of their sex; unlawfully classified jobs on the basis of sex; complied with requests for employees on the basis of sex; and retaliated against a female employee who complained about the discrimination. The case was referred to a magistrate judge for mediation. In April, a status conference was scheduled for 7/14/2008.

On July 21, 2008, the plaintiff amended its complaint to include Preferable People LLC as a defendant. Preferable operated a temporary day laborer operation similar to Preferred but had not operated in Worcester, Massachusetts. Preferable purchased most of Preferred’s assets in Worcester and purchased the rights to use the name “Preferred.” Preferable then operated out of Preferred’s former offices but did not engage in any discriminatory practices. EEOC acknowledged that Preferable had not engaged in any discriminatory practices, but argued that Preferable was Preferred’s successor and that liability should attach. In response, Preferable asked the court to dismiss them from the lawsuit.

On February 13, 2009, District Judge F. Dennis Saylor IV granted Preferable’s request to be dismissed from the lawsuit.

On July 6, 2009, the court approved a consent decree in favor of the plaintiff. This decree took into account that the defendant no longer operated the business at issue. So, although the decree had a duration of five years, if the defendant resumed its business within that time-frame, then the duration would be reset from the time the business resumed. The court retained jurisdiction throughout the duration of the decree to resolve any issue related to the decree.

If the defendant resumed its business, then it would have to implement non-discriminatory policies and procedures, this would include prohibiting sex discrimination and retaliation. The defendant would then be required to implement anti-discrimination training for its employees.

If the defendant resumed business, this decree required that the defendant implement a complaint procedure for applicants and employees who believed they have been discriminated or retaliated against. Afterwards, the defendant was then required to implement and maintain procedures to investigate complaints. After an investigation, the defendant had to provide the EEOC with reports on any complaints of discrimination and/or retaliation within the first four months it resumed business and every four months after.

In addition, this decree required the defendant to pay $ 250,000 in monetary damages.

The five years for the consent decree have passed, and there has been no further litigation. The case is now presumably closed.

Kevin Wilemon - 05/28/2008
Sean Whetstone - 05/22/2018

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Affected Gender
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Retaliation Prohibition
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
Sex discrimination
Direct Suit on Merits
No EEOC Final Resolution Type
Disparate Treatment
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Causes of Action Title VI, Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. § 2000d et seq.
Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Preferred Labor LLC
Plaintiff Description Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one or more workers that complained of sex discrimination and retaliation.
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2009 - 2014
Filing Year 2006
Case Closing Year 2014
Case Ongoing No
4:06-cv-40190-FDS (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0013-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/21/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint and Jury Trial Demand
EE-MA-0013-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/31/2006
Protective Order (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0013-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/12/2008
Amended Complaint and Jury Trial Demand [ECF# 53] (2008 WL 7211607)
EE-MA-0013-0003.pdf | WESTLAW | Detail
Date: 07/21/2008
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Memorandum and Order on Motion for Summary Judgment by Defendant Preferable People, LLC [ECF# 76] (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0013-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 02/13/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree [ECF# 89] (D. Mass.)
EE-MA-0013-0005.pdf | Detail
Date: 07/06/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Judges Hillman, Timothy Spafard (D. Mass.) [Magistrate]
EE-MA-0013-0002 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Saylor, F. Dennis IV (D. Mass., FISC)
EE-MA-0013-0004 | EE-MA-0013-0005 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Cooper, Ronald S. (District of Columbia)
EE-MA-0013-0003 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Grossman, Elizabeth (New York)
EE-MA-0013-0003 | EE-MA-0013-0005 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Keenan, Judy A. (New York)
Lee, James L. (District of Columbia)
EE-MA-0013-0003 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Lizana, Arnold J. (Massachusetts)
EE-MA-0013-0003 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Reams, Gwendolyn Young (District of Columbia)
EE-MA-0013-0003 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Rose, Robert D. (New York)
EE-MA-0013-0003 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Burns, Jeffrey M. (Massachusetts)
Houlding, Elizabeth A. (Massachusetts)
EE-MA-0013-0005 | EE-MA-0013-9000
Poliferno, Richard J. (Massachusetts)
Riordan, J. Michael (New Jersey)
Wilson, Rebecca J. (Massachusetts)
EE-MA-0013-0005 | EE-MA-0013-9000

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