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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Karenkim

June 16, 2011

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF,
v.
KARENKIM, INC., D/B/A/ PAUL'S BIG M, DEFENDANT. ANDREA BRADFORD, JUDITH GOODRICH AND DEBORAH HASKINS, PLAINTIFF-INTERVENORS,
v.
KARENKIM, INC., D/B/A/ PAUL'S BIG M GROCER AND KAREN CONNORS AND ALLEN MANWARING, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS AIDERS AND ABETTORS, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Norman A. Mordue, Chief U.S. District Judge

MEMORANDUM-DECISION and ORDER

I. INTRODUCTION

This case has been the subject of previous Memorandum-Decision and Orders and was tried before this Court and between January 3 - 20, 2011. The case resulted in a jury verdict in favor of plaintiff EEOC on behalf of claimants and Plaintiff-Intervenors. Familiarity with the facts and procedural history is assumed. Presently before the Court are three motions. Plaintiff EEOC has filed two of these motions. The first seeks to amend the judgment obtained after trial to reflect Title VII's cap on punitive damages. The second seeks injunctive relief in addition to

the jury's award of compensatory and punitive damages for the claimants and Plaintiff-Intervenors. The third motion has been filed by counsel for Plaintiff-Intervenors and seeks an award of attorneys fees and costs.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Amendment of the Judgment

Title VII authorizes the award of both compensatory and punitive damages but provides a cap on the total amount of damages recoverable based on employer size. See 42 U.S.C. § 1981a

(a). Specifically, the statute states as follows: In an action brought by a complaining party under section 706 or 717 of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . . . against a respondent who engaged in unlawful intentional discrimination . . . prohibited under section 703, 704, or 717 of the Act . . . the complaining party may recover compensatory and punitive damages as allowed in subsection (b), in addition to any relief authorized by section 706(g) of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 . . . from the respondent.

Section 1981a(b) provides:

The sum of the amount of compensatory damages awarded under this section for future pecuniary losses, emotional pain, suffering, inconvenience, mental anguish, loss of enjoyment of life, and other non-pecuniary losses, and the amount of punitive damages awarded under this section, shall not exceed, for each complaining party -- (A) in the case of a respondent who has more than 14 and fewer than 101 employees in each of 20 or more calendar weeks in the current or preceding calendar year, $50,000 . . . .

All but claimant Lorraine Baldwin received compensatory and punitive damages in total amounts exceeding the $50,000 cap. No party objects to the motion by plaintiff EEOC to amend the judgment to reflect Title VII's cap on damages. Therefore, the judgment will be amended to reduce the amounts awarded by the jury to reflect the impact of the cap as follows:

Emily Anderson: $50,000.00 (consisting of $750 in compensatory damages and

$49,250.00 in punitive damages);

Andrea Bradford: $51,900.00 (consisting of $1,900 in compensatory damages and $50,000.00 in punitive damages);*fn1

Amanda Cole: $50,000.00 (consisting of $2,050 in compensatory damages and $47,950.00 in punitive damages);

Judith Goodrich: $50,950.00 (consisting of $950 in compensatory damages and $50,000.00 in punitive damages);

Deborah Haskins: $50,775.00 (consisting of $775 in compensatory damages and $50,000.00 in punitive damages);

Rachel (Sivers) Johnson: $50,000.00 (consisting of $500 in compensatory damages and

$49,500.00 in punitive damages);

Anna Miller: $50,000.00 (consisting of $1,230.00 in compensatory damages and $48,770.00 in punitive damages);

Abigail Murray: $50,000.00 (consisting of $675 in compensatory damages and $49,325.00 in punitive damages);

Lorraine (Baldwin) Warren: $23,724.00 (consisting of $250 in compensatory damages and

$23,474 .00 in punitive damages); and

Meghan Whitmarsh: $50,000.00 (consisting of $1,000 in compensatory damages and $49,000.00 in punitive damages).

B. Injunctive Relief

Plaintiff EEOC has presented an application to the Court for extensive injunctive relief to prevent future discrimination and harassment by defendant KarenKim. The full measure of the injunctive relief sought by plaintiff EEOC is as follows:

1. KarenKim its managers, officers, agents, parent organizations, successors, purchasers, assigns, subsidiaries, affiliates, and any corporation or entity into which KarenKim may merge or with which KarenKim may consolidate are enjoined from engaging in sex discrimination including by creating or maintaining a hostile work environment on the basis of sex. KarenKim, its managers, officers,agents, parent organizations, successors, purchasers, assigns, subsidiaries, affiliates, and any corporation or entity into which KarenKim may merge or with which KarenKim may consolidate, are further enjoined from retaliating against any individual for asserting her or his rights under Title VII or otherwise engaging in protected activity, such as by complaining of discrimination, opposing discrimination, filing a charge, or giving testimony or assistance with an investigation or litigation, including, but not limited to, participating in this matter in any way including by giving testimony.

Employment of Allen Manwaring and Posting

2. KarenKim, its managers, officers, agents, parent organizations, successors, purchasers, assigns, subsidiaries, affiliates, and any corporation or entity into which KarenKim may merge or with which KarenKim may consolidate, are enjoined from: (a) rehiring Allen Manwaring; (b) employing and/or compensating Allen Manwaring in any capacity, whether as an employee, independent contractor, or consultant; (c) allowing Allen Manwaring to provide any services, whether paid or unpaid, to KarenKim or otherwise engage in any activities related to the store; and (d) allowing Allen Manwaring to enter KarenKim's building at 276 West 1st Street, Oswego, New York, or the surrounding premises.

3. Notwithstanding the above paragraph, KarenKim may purchase produce from Allen Manwaring, provided that KarenKim is prohibited from permitting Allen Manwaring to enter KarenKim's building at 276 West 1st Street, Oswego, New York.

4. KarenKim will post a notice, a reduced-size copy of which is attached as Exhibit A, with a photograph of Allen Manwaring included in the notice, in its break room informing employees of their obligation to contact the Independent Monitor and/or EEOC if they see Allen Manwaring in the building located at 276 West 1st Street, Oswego, New York or on the surrounding premises. The notice will also summarize the provisions of this Judgment and Order for Injunctive Relief and will state that it is "So Ordered" by this Court. The Notice will be printed on poster size stock of 18" x 24" with a 4" by 6" photograph of Allen Manwaring included.

Independent Monitor

6. KarenKim will give its full cooperation to the Independent Monitor in the performance of the Independent Monitor's responsibilities under the Judgment and Order for Injunctive Relief and will pay all costs, fees, and expenses of the Independent Monitor. KarenKim will give the Independent Monitor full access to KarenKim's officers, managers, supervisors, employees, vendors, contractors, and documents and records related to the performance of the Independent Monitor's responsibilities under the Judgment and Order for Injunctive Relief. ...


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