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Case Name EEOC v. RD's Drive In/Exxon EE-AZ-0091
Docket / Court CIV 02 1911 PCT LOA ( D. Ariz. )
State/Territory Arizona
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
On September 27, 2002, the Phoenix District Office of the EEOC brought this suit against the owners of an Arizona fast food restaurant in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The EEOC sued on behalf of several Native American employees and alleged that the defendants’ use of a ... read more >
On September 27, 2002, the Phoenix District Office of the EEOC brought this suit against the owners of an Arizona fast food restaurant in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The EEOC sued on behalf of several Native American employees and alleged that the defendants’ use of a mandatory English-only policy violated both Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991. The case was assigned to Judge Stephen M. McNamee.

Because the restaurant was next to a reservation, approximately 90% of the restaurant’s employees were members of the Navaho Nation and were bilingual, speaking Navajo and English. In response to complaints from English-only speaking employees that Native American employees were speaking rudely or inappropriately to them in Navajo, the Defendants adopted an English-only policy at the restaurant and required every employee to sign it. Employees who did not sign the policy were required to give a two-week notice and cease working at the restaurant. Additionally, when four employees refused to sign the policy, they were sent home immediately and were then penalized for leaving mid-shift, receiving a reduced hourly wage. These four plaintiffs filed charges with the EEOC, which issued letters of determination in July 2001 and subsequently filed this lawsuit. In February 2003, the Court granted a motion by these four plaintiffs, allowing them to become intervenors in this case.

The defendants filed a motion for partial summary judgment in November 2002, and the parties litigated over this motion for several months. Ultimately, however, the focus of the litigation shifted to the parties’ attempts to reach a settlement agreement. In April 2003, the parties held their first settlement conference but were unable to reach a settlement agreement. On September 3, 2003, the parties held another settlement conference and, according to a Minute Order filed two days afterward, were able to reach a settlement agreement. However, several weeks passed without the parties filing the appropriate settlement documents with the Court. The parties had reassured the court at a status conference in mid-September that a settlement had been reached and that the parties were merely finalizing documents.

According to a motion filed by the intervening plaintiffs, although the parties had settled on a number of material terms at the conference held on September 3, 2003, and the EEOC had sent the defendants a proposed consent decree memorializing the settlement negotiations the next day, the defendants had then sent the plaintiffs a new draft of the consent decree that substantially altered the terms of the original settlement. The defendants indicated that they did not intend to honor the agreement reached on September 3, 2003.

Subsequently, the intervenors filed a motion in January 2004 to enforce the settlement agreement, arguing that a settlement agreement had been reached on September 3, 2003, and was now enforceable against the defendants. The Court conducted an evidentiary hearing, and on September 14, 2004, the Court issued a Memorandum of Decision and Order that outlined the terms upon which the parties had reached an agreement (and the terms for which there was no mutual assent). The Court admonished the attorneys on both sides for “bickering,” but ultimately entered a judgment that favored the plaintiffs. Specifically, the Court enjoined the defendants from engaging in discrimination or retaliation and ordered the defendants to take the following actions:
1. Pay the intervenors $7,400 over a period of 16 months;
2. Rescind the English Language policy;
3. Organize and participate in a community symposium within nine months of the entry of the decree;
4. Sign, along with the plaintiffs, a “joint statement” concerning resolution and file a settlement agreement with the Court;
5. Post a notice at RD’s Drive In concerning discrimination and retaliation; and
6. Conduct quarterly staff meetings to discuss issues, problems, policies, and employee concerns.
The defendants appealed the judgment and the court granted a stay while the appeal was pending. On August 27, 2007, the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit (Circuit Judges J. Clifford Wallace and Jay S. Bybee and District Judge Dean D. Pregerson) affirmed the District Court judgment. 244 Fed. Appx. 70. The case is now closed.

Keri Livingston - 07/16/2007
Sara Stearns - 06/02/2019

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Issues and Causes of Action
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Content of Injunction
Discrimination Prohibition
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Retaliation Prohibition
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)
National origin discrimination
Direct Suit on Merits
Private Party intervened in EEOC suit
Disparate Treatment
Pattern or Practice
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Private Plaintiff
American Indian/Alaskan Native
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e
Defendant(s) Richard O Kidman
Shauna Kidman
Steve Kidman
Steve Kidman
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 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 2002 - 2007
Filed 09/27/2002
Case Closing Year 2007
Case Ongoing No
Additional Resources
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Court Docket(s)
D. Ariz.
EE-AZ-0091-9000.pdf | Detail
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
not recorded
EEOC Sues Arizona Diner for National Origin Bias Against Navajos and Other Native Americans
EE-AZ-0091-0001.pdf | Detail
D. Ariz.
EE-AZ-0091-0002.pdf | Detail
Source: EEOC Regional Office
D. Ariz.
Memorandum of Decision and Order [ECF# 152]
EE-AZ-0091-0004.pdf | Detail
Source: EEOC Regional Office
D. Ariz.
Judgment in a Civil Case [ECF# 155]
EE-AZ-0091-0005.pdf | Detail
Source: EEOC Regional Office
U.S. Court of Appeals
EE-AZ-0091-0003.pdf | Detail
Source: EEOC Regional Office
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Judges McNamee, Stephen M. (D. Ariz.) show/hide docs
Plaintiff's Lawyers O'Neill, Mary Jo (Arizona) show/hide docs
Defendant's Lawyers Becker, Joseph F (Colorado) show/hide docs
Detamore, James Scott (Colorado) show/hide docs
Pendley, William Perry (Colorado) show/hide docs
Sakato, Jo Ann M (Arizona) show/hide docs
Selden, David A. (Arizona) show/hide docs

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