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Milestones: 2004

  • In September, the EEOC announced the Youth@Work initiative, an outreach and education campaign designed to educate teenage workers about their workplace rights and responsibilities.  The program sponsored free outreach events for high schools, youth organizations, and small businesses that disproportionately employ younger workers, including teaching young workers how to prevent sexual harassment and other discriminatory practices in the workplace.  School systems repeatedly requested Youth@Work presentations.
  • The EEOC published a series of reports examining demographic trends, economic indicators and employer practices in leading sectors of the economy.  The reports: "Diversity in the Media,"  described employment trends in the publishing, broadcasting, and cable industry; "High-End Department Stores: Their Access to and Use of Labor Markets," examined the status of minority sales workers at leading retailers; "Retail Distribution Centers: How New Business Processes Impact Minority Labor Markets," examined how the location of distribution centers can impact the recruitment and hiring of minority workers; and "Diversity in Law Firms," examined the employment of minority professionals in this influential industry.
  • In support of the President's New Freedom Initiative, the EEOC entered into official partnerships with the states of Florida, Maryland, Vermont and Washington.  The EEOC reviewed these states' recruitment and hiring of individuals with disabilities, and also reviewed the reasonable accommodation policies used by these states.  The project was to highlight these states' best practices and share them with other state and local employers.  The EEOC provided technical assistance to those government employers who requested it.

Notable Supreme Court Decisions

Notable EEOC Trial Victories

  • In EEOC v. E.I. Du Pont De Nemours & Co., 347 F.Supp.2d 284 (E.D. La. 2004), a jury awarded $1.29 million to a former chemical plant lab clerk with scoliosis of the lumbar spine and lumbar disc disease.  She was discharged due to the employer's belief that it would be unsafe for her to walk on the plant site, in violation of the ADA.
  • In EEOC v. Federal Express Corp., No. 6:02-cv-01112-JA-DAB (M.D. Fla. Dec. 22, 2004), a jury awarded $1.57 million to a senior manager who was retaliated against and forced to resign after he complained to the defendant's legal department that a company official had engaged in employment discrimination.

Notable EEOC Resolutions

  • EEOC resolves a sex discrimination lawsuit, EEOC v. Morgan Stanley & Co., Inc. (S.D.N.Y. July 12, 2004) for $54 million for a class of female officers and women eligible for officer promotion in the firm's Institutional Equity Division.  The EEOC alleged that the firm engaged in a pattern or practice of sex discrimination by preventing women from being promoted, compensated or enjoying other terms, privileges and conditions of employment on the same basis as men.
  • EEOC v. Carl Buddig & Co. (N.D. Ill. Sept. 7, 2004) settled for $2.5 million for African-American applicants and women who were discriminated against. The EEOC alleged that the defend­ant, a meat processing company, denied employment to black applicants because of their race.  The company also physically segregated applications from women and hired them only into packing line jobs, where the periodic raises were lower than in the unskilled jobs given to men.  In addition to the monetary relief, the employer agreed to hire the claimants who had previously been denied jobs. 
  • The Commission settled EEOC v. Home Depot, U.S.A., Inc., d/b/a The Home Depot (D. Colo. Sept. 29, 2004) for $5.5 million for a class of female, African American and Hispanic employees who were subjected to a hostile work environment and retaliated against when they complained about discrimination.
  • EEOC v. Milgard Mfg., Inc. (D. Colo. May 19, 2004) settled for over $3.3 million for African American applicants who were denied hire because of their race as well as to an HR employee who complained about discrimination.  In addition to the monetary relief, the consent decree also required the defendant to recruit in areas with large black populations and report to the EEOC every six months on the race and ethnicity of applicants and hires.

Significant EEOC Guidance

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