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Case Name EEOC v. BOOKS FOR LESS EE-NY-0019
Docket / Court CV-06-4577 ( E.D.N.Y. )
State/Territory New York
Case Type(s) Equal Employment
Special Collection EEOC Study -- in sample
IWPR/Wage Project Consent Decree Study
Attorney Organization EEOC
Case Summary
The New York district office of the EEOC brought this suit against Books for Less, LLC and Books for Less, Inc., which function together as an integrated enterprise selling books, in August 2006, in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The complaint alleged that Books for ... read more >
The New York district office of the EEOC brought this suit against Books for Less, LLC and Books for Less, Inc., which function together as an integrated enterprise selling books, in August 2006, in the U.S District Court for the Eastern District of New York. The complaint alleged that Books for Less management, including the owner, subjected black and female employees to continual and extreme harassment based on race and sex, as well as harassing an employee for her association with black people. Books for Less was also accused of retaliating against employees who, regardless of race or sex, complained about the harassment in the workplace. The retaliation took the form of threats, harassment, lawsuits, and termination of employees. After a contentious discovery process and a series of settlement conferences held by U.S. Magistrate Judge Ramon E. Reyes, the parties settled by entry of a consent decree in March 2008.

The decree, which was in effect for four years, included non-discrimination and non-retaliation clauses, required complainants to be provided with neutral reference letters, and prevented Books for Less from saying anything to potential employers other than the dates of complainants' employment. The decree required Books for Less to implement an anti-discrimination policy, which included complaint procedures, to post and distribute material regarding anti-discrimination and regarding this lawsuit, and to provide anti-discrimination training to all employees, with special one-on-one training for the manager. Books for Less also agreed to donate 1000 books or $10,000 dollars worth of books to the August Wilson Center for African American Culture. Books for Less had to file regular reports to the EEOC regarding any complaints of harassment or discrimination and reports indicating compliance with various aspects of the decree, and needed to allow the EEOC to monitor its records at the EEOC's discretion. Books for Less agreed to pay a total of $180,000 to settle the claims of individual complainants. The EEOC was also empowered to seek court enforcement of the decree if violated, including in the case of payments not being made on time. Additionally, Books for Less agreed that it could not use bankruptcy or any form of legal debt relief to escape its obligations under this decree. As there is no further activity on the docket sheet, presumably this case closed in 2012.

Shankar Viswanathan - 05/30/2008
Rachel Barr - 04/08/2018


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Issues and Causes of Action
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Issues
Affected Gender
Female
Content of Injunction
Develop anti-discrimination policy
Discrimination Prohibition
Implement complaint/dispute resolution process
Monitoring
Neutral/Positive Reference
Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law
Provide antidiscrimination training
Recordkeeping
Reporting
Retaliation Prohibition
Discrimination-area
Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff
Harassment / Hostile Work Environment
Discrimination-basis
Race discrimination
Sex discrimination
EEOC-centric
Direct Suit on Merits
General
Disparate Treatment
Retaliation
Plaintiff Type
EEOC Plaintiff
Race
Black
Causes of Action Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. ยง 2000e
Defendant(s) Books for Less, Inc.
Books for Less, Inc.
Books for Less, LLC
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 Settlement
Form of Settlement Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree
Order Duration 2008 - 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)
1:06-cv-04577-NG-RER (E.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0019-9000.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/20/2009
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
General Documents
Complaint [ECF# 1-1]
EE-NY-0019-0001.pdf | Detail
Date: 08/24/2006
Amended Complaint [ECF# 15]
EE-NY-0019-0002.pdf | Detail
Date: 01/19/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Confidentiality Order Governing the Treatment of Certain Information Designated as Confidential [ECF# 30] (E.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0019-0003.pdf | Detail
Date: 04/09/2007
Source: PACER [Public Access to Court Electronic Records]
Consent Decree
EE-NY-0019-0004.pdf | Detail
Date: 03/10/2008
Judges Reyes, Ramon E. Jr. (E.D.N.Y.)
EE-NY-0019-9000
Plaintiff's Lawyers Chandy, Sunu P. (New York)
EE-NY-0019-9000
Yamada, Stella Natsue (New York)
EE-NY-0019-9000
Defendant's Lawyers Jacobs, Jane Blair (New York)
EE-NY-0019-9000
Storch, Ellen (New York)
EE-NY-0019-9000
Weiss, Steven K. (New York)
EE-NY-0019-9000
Weiss, Adam C. (New York)
EE-NY-0019-9000

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