Case: United States of America v. School City of East Chicago, Indiana

2:98-cv-00509 | U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana

Filed Date: Sept. 15, 1998

Closed Date: Nov. 7, 2000

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

During the period from at least 1988 until January 1, 1994, five female janitors who worked in the School City of East Chicago, a school district in Northern Indiana, were assigned to and allowed by the school district to work only seven hour shifts, while their male counterparts were assigned and allowed to work eight hour shifts. The female janitors lost hourly earnings due to the school district's practice of limiting their hours. The five female janitors then filed charges with the Equal Em…

During the period from at least 1988 until January 1, 1994, five female janitors who worked in the School City of East Chicago, a school district in Northern Indiana, were assigned to and allowed by the school district to work only seven hour shifts, while their male counterparts were assigned and allowed to work eight hour shifts. The female janitors lost hourly earnings due to the school district's practice of limiting their hours. The five female janitors then filed charges with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), alleging sex discrimination in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 (Title VII), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq. The EEOC investigated the charges and found reasonable cause to believe the Title VII allegations were true. After unsuccessful attempts to conciliate the matter, the EEOC referred the charges to the Civil Rights Division of the Department of Justice (DOJ).

On September 15, 1998, the DOJ reached an agreement with the school district and filed a complaint against it in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Indiana under Title VII on the same day. In the complaint, the DOJ sought an injunction prohibiting the school district from engaging in its discriminatory practice as well as compensatory backpay for female janitors who were adversely affected by such practice. This was the sixth case filed by the DOJ since 1993, alleging that women had not been given equal access to higher paying custodial jobs in public schools.

According to a DOJ press release, under the agreement, the school district would create a fund of $250,000 to compensate all female janitors who lost money as a result of its sex discrimination regarding working hours. Furthermore, the school district agreed to pay the attorneys' fees for the five female janitors.

Even though we had little information about any injunctive relief, it is highly likely that the agreement contained the relief sought in the complaint, requiring an end to the school district's discriminatory practice in question. On September 24, 1998, the District Court (Judge James T. Moody) issued a consent decree, and approved the DOJ's proposed monetary relief determinations on August 16, 1999. This ended the case.

Summary Authors

Emma Bao (8/9/2013)

People


Judge(s)

Moody, James Tyne (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Davilo, Carol (Indiana)

DeGuilio, Jon E. (District of Columbia)

Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)

Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Tejani, Sharyn A. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lesniak, Richard J (Indiana)

Murakowski, William M (Indiana)

Other Attorney(s)

Active

Judge(s)

Moody, James Tyne (Indiana)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Davilo, Carol (Indiana)

DeGuilio, Jon E. (District of Columbia)

Fenton, William B. (District of Columbia)

Lee, Bill Lann (District of Columbia)

Reno, Janet (District of Columbia)

Tejani, Sharyn A. (District of Columbia)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Lesniak, Richard J (Indiana)

Murakowski, William M (Indiana)

Other Attorney(s)

Balanoff, James (Indiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [Pacer]

Aug. 16, 1999 Docket
1

Complaint

Sept. 15, 1998 Complaint

School City of East Chicago to Settle Claims of Employment Discrimination, Under Justice Department Agreement [Press Release]

No Court

Sept. 15, 1998 Press Release

Resources

Title Description External URL

Judicial Independence, Employment Discrimination Studies Funded

Ann Nicholson

This brief article describes the Clearinghouse's award of $12,000 to build its collection of employment discrimination class actions brought by private plaintiffs. Nov. 1, 2008 https://law.wustl.edu/...

Docket

Last updated May 12, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT ( Number of Summon(es) issued: 0 ) (efc) (Entered: 09/16/1998)

Sept. 15, 1998
2

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for plaintiff USA by Sharyn Tejani (efc) (Entered: 09/16/1998)

Sept. 15, 1998

(RECEIVED) Consent Decree (efc) (Entered: 09/16/1998)

Sept. 15, 1998
3

ATTORNEY APPEARANCE for defendant School City E Chgo by Richard J. Lesniak &William M Murakowski (sda) (Entered: 09/25/1998)

Sept. 23, 1998
5

MOTION by plaintiff USA to approve proposed monetary relief determinations (efc) (Entered: 08/04/1999)

Aug. 4, 1999
5

MEMORANDUM by plaintiff USA in support of motion to approve proposed monetary relief determinations [5−1] (efc) (Entered: 08/04/1999)

Aug. 4, 1999
6

ORDER by Judge James T. Moody granting motion to approve proposed monetary relief determinations [5−1] Defendant may begin the notification procedure set forth in paragraph 14 of the Consent Decree in this case. (cc: all counsel) (sda) (Entered: 08/17/1999)

Aug. 16, 1999

State / Territory: Indiana

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 15, 1998

Closing Date: Nov. 7, 2000

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Five female janitors who were assigned and allowed to work shifts of fewer hours than their males counterparts by their employer, a school district in Northern Indiana.

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

School City of East Chicago (East Chicago, Lake), School District

Defendant Type(s):

Elementary/Secondary School

Case Details

Causes of Action:

Title VII (including PDA), 42 U.S.C. § 2000e

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Attorneys fees

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Amount Defendant Pays: $250,000 + attys' fees

Order Duration: 1998 - None

Content of Injunction:

Discrimination Prohibition

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

Other Conditions of Employment (including assignment, transfer, hours, working conditions, etc)

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female