Case: United States of America v. New York State Department of Correctional Services

1:07-cv-02243 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

Filed Date: March 15, 2007

Closed Date: 2010

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 15, 2007, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) . The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against an employee on the basis of religion. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the DOCS discriminated on the basis of relig…

On March 15, 2007, the United States Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, under Title VII of Civil Rights Act of 1964, against the New York State Department of Correctional Services (DOCS) . The DOJ sought injunctive relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against an employee on the basis of religion. Specifically, the complaint alleges that the DOCS discriminated on the basis of religion by failing to reasonably accommodate a Muslim correction officer's religious practice of wearing a kufi (skullcap). DOCS directed the correction officer in May 2005 to stop wearing his kufi while working as a correction officer, even though the officer had worn his kufi for years without incident.

Shortly after suit was filed, the case was settled. On January 18, 2008, the District Court (Judge Denny Chin) approved the parties' Stipulation and Order of Settlement. Under the settlement, DOCS agreed to continue to adhere to its amended religious accommodation policy, which it implemented on March 16, 2007. That policy created an administrative process under which employees could request religious accommodations to workplace policies (grooming and uniform requirements). Each religious accommodation request would be given an individualized assessment and granted unless the request created an undue hardship on the DOCS. By its terms, the Stipulation and Order was to remain in effect until July 1, 2010. The District Court agreed to retain jurisdiction over the case during that period in order to resolve any issues or disputes that arose.

Summary Authors

Hyun Jeong Yang (11/5/2007)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/12451695/parties/united-states-v-new-york-department-of-correctional-services/


Judge(s)

Chin, Denny (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Garcia, Michael J. (New York)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Torrance, Benjamin H. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cuomo, Andrew M. (New York)

Schwartz, John Michael (New York)

Judge(s)

Chin, Denny (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Garcia, Michael J. (New York)

Kim, Wan J. (District of Columbia)

Torrance, Benjamin H. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Cuomo, Andrew M. (New York)

Schwartz, John Michael (New York)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:07-cv-02243

Docket (PACER)

Jan. 18, 2008

Jan. 18, 2008

Docket
1

1:07-cv-02243

Complaint

March 15, 2007

March 15, 2007

Complaint
9

1:07-cv-02243

Stipulation and Order of Settlement

Jan. 18, 2008

Jan. 18, 2008

Settlement Agreement

Press Release: Justice Department Settles Muslim Corrections Officer Religious Liberty Case

No Court

Jan. 18, 2008

Jan. 18, 2008

Press Release

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/12451695/united-states-v-new-york-department-of-correctional-services/

Last updated Sept. 1, 2022, 3:07 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against New York Department of Correctional Services. Document filed by United States of America.(jpo) (Entered: 03/16/2007)

March 15, 2007

March 15, 2007

PACER

SUMMONS ISSUED as to New York Department of Correctional Services. (jpo)

March 15, 2007

March 15, 2007

PACER

Case Designated ECF. (jpo)

March 15, 2007

March 15, 2007

PACER

CASE REFERRED TO Judge Harold Baer, Jr. as possibly related to 06cv8156. (jpo)

March 15, 2007

March 15, 2007

PACER
2

NOTICE OF APPEARANCE by John Michael Schwartz on behalf of New York Department of Correctional Services (Schwartz, John) (Entered: 03/26/2007)

March 26, 2007

March 26, 2007

PACER
3

ENDORSED LETTER addressed to Judge Harold Baer, Jr. from Benjamin H. Torrence dated 3/23/07 re: I was going to accept this case but I need not do so under Rule 17 of our rules. I'm certainly not going to try 2 almost identical cases - you decide and I'll abide by your wishes. If the ACLU settles as they apparently believe they will before their June trial - I'll keep yours, if they don't yours will have to be on the same now extended - for discovery track or I will send it back to the wheel under Rule 17. Tell me by 3/28/07 what you want to do. (Signed by Judge Harold Baer on 3/26/07) (db) (Entered: 03/27/2007)

March 27, 2007

March 27, 2007

PACER
4

WAIVER OF SERVICE RETURNED EXECUTED. New York Department of Correctional Services waiver sent on 3/15/2007, answer due 5/14/2007. Document filed by United States of America. (Torrance, Benjamin) (Entered: 03/27/2007)

March 27, 2007

March 27, 2007

PACER
5

REQUEST FOR WAIVER OF SERVICE sent to NYS Dep't of Corr. Servs.. Document filed by United States of America.Request for Waiver Mailed on 3/15/2007. (Torrance, Benjamin) (Entered: 03/27/2007)

March 27, 2007

March 27, 2007

PACER

CASE DECLINED AS NOT RELATED. Case referred as related to 1:06-cv-8156 and declined by Judge Harold Baer and returned to wheel for assignment. (laq)

March 30, 2007

March 30, 2007

PACER
6

NOTICE OF CASE ASSIGNMENT to Judge Harold Baer. Judge Unassigned is no longer assigned to the case. (laq) (Entered: 04/03/2007)

March 30, 2007

March 30, 2007

PACER

Magistrate Judge Douglas F. Eaton is so designated. (laq)

March 30, 2007

March 30, 2007

PACER

Mailed notice to the attorney(s) of record. (laq)

April 3, 2007

April 3, 2007

PACER
7

NOTICE OF CASE REASSIGNMENT to Judge Denny Chin. Judge Harold Baer is no longer assigned to the case. (jeh) (Entered: 04/17/2007)

April 12, 2007

April 12, 2007

PACER
8

ANSWER to Complaint. Document filed by New York Department of Correctional Services.(Schwartz, John) (Entered: 05/14/2007)

May 14, 2007

May 14, 2007

PACER
9

STIPULATION AND ORDER OF SETTLEMENT, DOCS shall not engage in any act or practice that unlawfully discriminates against any current or prospective employee because of that person's religion, as further set forth in this document. Each party shall bear its own costs and attorney's fees in this Action. (Signed by Judge Denny Chin on 1/18/08) (cd) (Entered: 01/18/2008)

Jan. 18, 2008

Jan. 18, 2008

PACER

Case Details

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 15, 2007

Closing Date: 2010

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The United States on behalf of employees of New York State Department of Corrections who have religious beliefs that do not permit them to follow the mandatory dress code

Plaintiff Type(s):

U.S. Dept of Justice plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

U.S. Dept. of Justice Civil Rights Division

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

The State of New York, State

Defendant Type(s):

Corrections

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Order Duration: 2008 - 2010

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

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

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination

Affected Gender:

Male

National Origin/Ethnicity:

Arab/Afgani/Middle Eastern