Case: United States of America v. The City of Wilmington, Delaware

1:96-cv-00447 | U.S. District Court for the District of Delaware

Filed Date: Sept. 11, 1996

Closed Date: March 7, 1997

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 11, 1996 the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit against the City of Wilmington, Delaware in the U.S. District Court of Delaware to enforce Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq. The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and compensatory relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against an individual employee in the police department of Wilmington by failing to accommodate the employees religious observance, practice, and…

On September 11, 1996 the United States Department of Justice ("D.O.J.") filed a lawsuit against the City of Wilmington, Delaware in the U.S. District Court of Delaware to enforce Title VII, 42 U.S.C. §2000e, et seq. The D.O.J. asked the court for injunctive and compensatory relief, alleging that the defendant had violated Title VII by discriminating against an individual employee in the police department of Wilmington by failing to accommodate the employees religious observance, practice, and belief in the wearing of a beard.

The complaint alleges that the City of Wilmington violated Title VII by: (1) failing or refusing reasonably to accommodate the employee's religious observance, practice and belief of wearing a beard; (2) suspending the employee for 40 hours without pay because of religious observance, practice and belief of wearing a beard; (3) further suspending the employee for ten days without pay because employees continued religious observance, practice and belief of wearing a beard; (4) failing or refusing to take appropriate action to remedy the effects of the discrimination against employee.

On March 7, 1997 Judge Murray M. Schwartz signed the order entering the consent decree agreed on by both parties. The consent decree provides that the defendant: (1) shall not engage in any act or practice that has the purpose or effect of unlawfully discriminating against any employee or potential employee on good faith religious observances, practices and/or beliefs, including the observance, practice and/or belief of wearing a beard; (2) defendant shall not retaliate against or in any respect adversely affect the employee or any other person because that person has opposed allegedly discriminatory policies or practices, has filed a charge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or because of that person's participation in or cooperation with the initiation, investigation, litigation or administration of this case or this decree; (3) Defendant shall implement and use non-discriminatory employment policies designed reasonably to accommodate the good faith religious observances, practices and/or beliefs of employees; (4) Defendant shall provide training with respect to Title VII's prohibition against employment discrimination based on religion to its Police Department supervisory personnel; (5) Within thirty days after the date of entry of this Decree, the City shall post notices of the settlement of this lawsuit in a prominent and conspicuous location used for posting notices at the Wilmington Police Department for ninety days.

The consent decree further provides specific compensation to the employee: (1) offer back pay for the 40 hours time employee was initially suspended, and the 10 days in which the employee was later suspended, including interest accrued; (2) the city will make a payment into the employee's pension fund with interest accrued; (3) the city shall pay a monetary award to employee which will be considered compensatory relief; (4) The City shall offer to expunge from its records and files all documents, records or information relating to proposed or actual disciplinary action taken against employee; (5) that the beard worn by the employee would not be in violation of the anticipated grooming policy.

The case was closed on March 7, 1997.

Summary Authors

James Floyd (11/11/2007)

People


Judge(s)

Schwartz, Murray Merle (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Green, David A (Delaware)

Levy, Allen W. (District of Columbia)

Pinzler, Isabelle Katz (District of Columbia)

Sleet, Gregory Moneta (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Morgan, John W (Delaware)

Judge(s)

Schwartz, Murray Merle (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Green, David A (Delaware)

Levy, Allen W. (District of Columbia)

Pinzler, Isabelle Katz (District of Columbia)

Sleet, Gregory Moneta (Delaware)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Morgan, John W (Delaware)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket

March 7, 1997 Docket
17

Consent Decree

March 6, 1997 Settlement Agreement

Docket

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

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT filed; Mag consent notice to pltf. (dab) (Entered: 09/12/1996)

Sept. 11, 1996

DEMAND for jury trial by U.S.A. (dab) (Entered: 09/12/1996)

Sept. 11, 1996
2

CASE assigned to Judge Murray M. Schwartz. Notice to all parties. (ntl) (Entered: 09/18/1996)

Sept. 18, 1996
3

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed as to City of Wilmington 9/12/96 Answer due on 11/11/96 for City of Wilmington (ds) (Entered: 10/02/1996)

Oct. 1, 1996
4

ANSWER to Complaint by City of Wilmington (Attorney John W. Morgan), (ds) (Entered: 10/07/1996)

Oct. 4, 1996
5

ORDER, if the parties fail to achieve complete agreement on the discovery plan, a telephone conference will be held set Tele- Scheduling Conference for 11:00 11/7/96 (signed by Judge Murray M. Schwartz) copies to: cnsl (ds) (Entered: 10/09/1996)

Oct. 8, 1996
6

MOTION by U.S.A. with Proposed Order for Leslie T. Annexstein to Appear Pro Hac Vice (ds) (Entered: 10/16/1996)

Oct. 16, 1996

So Ordered granting [6-1] motion for Leslie T. Annexstein to Appear Pro Hac Vice (signed by Judge Murray M. Schwartz) Notice to all parties. (ds) (Entered: 10/18/1996)

Oct. 18, 1996
7

Proposed Order filed by U.S.A., City of Wilmington re scheduling dates; discovery cut off 5/17/97; ltd. to 50 interrogs., joining parties/amended pleadings 3/3/97, dispositive motions w/OB by 5/23/97; please see order for further details. (ds) (Entered: 11/07/1996)

Nov. 7, 1996

So Ordered [7-1] proposed order (signed by Judge Murray M. Schwartz) Notice to all parties. (ds) (Entered: 11/12/1996)

Nov. 8, 1996

Deadline updated per Court's Order (see D.I.7) set Scheduling Order Deadlines: joining of parties, amended pleadings on 3/3/97; Discovery deadline on 5/17/97; Deadline for filing dispositive motions w/OB by 5/23/97 (ds) (Entered: 11/12/1996)

Nov. 8, 1996
8

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by U.S.A. re pltf. United States' Initial Disclosures pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1) (ds) (Entered: 11/19/1996)

Nov. 19, 1996
10

ORDER, to explore possible settlement of this matter set Telephone Conference for 9:00 12/5/96 (signed by Judge Mary P. Trostle) copies to: cnsl (ds) (Entered: 11/21/1996)

Nov. 21, 1996

Deadline updated per calendar notice from Judge Trostle set Telephone Conference for 11:30 12/12/96 (ds) (Entered: 12/10/1996)

Dec. 9, 1996
11

ORDER setting teleconference for 11:30 12/12/96 to discuss tentative mediation dates (signed by Judge Mary P. Trostle) copies to: cnsl (ds) (Entered: 12/11/1996)

Dec. 9, 1996
12

ORDER, set Settlement Conference for 9:00 2/18/97 each party shall submit to the Magistrate-Judge only an original and one copy of the settlement/mediation conference statement by 2/11/97; please see order for details (signed by Judge Mary P. Trostle) copies to: cnsl (ds) (Entered: 12/16/1996)

Dec. 16, 1996
13

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by U.S.A. re United States' 1st set of interrogs. & 1st reqst. for production of docs. (ds) (Entered: 01/15/1997)

Jan. 15, 1997
14

NOTICE of Appearance of Allen W. Levy by U.S.A.; exit Leslie T. Annexstein (ds) (Entered: 02/12/1997)

Feb. 11, 1997
15

MOTION by U.S.A. with Proposed Order for Allen W. Levy to Appear Pro Hac Vice (ds) (Entered: 02/12/1997)

Feb. 11, 1997
16

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by City of Wilmington re City of Wilmington's resp. to United States' 1st set of interrogs. & deft's resp. to pltf's reqst. for docs. (ds) (Entered: 02/12/1997)

Feb. 12, 1997

So Ordered granting [15-1] motion for Allen W. Levy to Appear Pro Hac Vice (signed by Judge Murray M. Schwartz) Notice to all parties. (ds) (Entered: 02/14/1997)

Feb. 14, 1997
17

Proposed Consent Decree filed by U.S.A., City of Wilmington (ds) (Entered: 03/06/1997)

March 6, 1997

So Ordered [17-1] proposed order (signed by Judge Murray M. Schwartz) Notice to all parties. (ds) (Entered: 03/11/1997)

March 7, 1997

Case closed (ds) (Entered: 03/26/1997)

March 7, 1997

JUDGMENT registered against defendant City of Wilmington (ds) (Entered: 03/26/1997)

March 7, 1997

State / Territory: Delaware

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 11, 1996

Closing Date: March 7, 1997

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

United States on behalf of an employee in the Wilmington Police Department

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

City of Wilmington, City

Defendant Type(s):

Law-enforcement

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Settlement

Form of Settlement:

Court Approved Settlement or Consent Decree

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Discrimination-area:

Accommodation / Leave

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

Pay / Benefits

Discrimination-basis:

Religion discrimination