Case: EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc.

1:08-cv-00706 | U.S. District Court for the Western District of New York

Filed Date: Sept. 9, 2008

Case Ongoing

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 9, 2008, in response to charges filed by 18 women, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit against Sterling Jewelers, alleging violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 based on discriminatory employment practices. Specifically, the EEOC claimed that Sterling Jewelers intentionally discriminated against female sales employees by maintaining a system of excessively subjective promotion and compensation decisions and thereby permitting or en…

On September 9, 2008, in response to charges filed by 18 women, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed this lawsuit against Sterling Jewelers, alleging violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 based on discriminatory employment practices. Specifically, the EEOC claimed that Sterling Jewelers intentionally discriminated against female sales employees by maintaining a system of excessively subjective promotion and compensation decisions and thereby permitting or encouraging managers to deny equal access to promotion and compensation to female employees. The EEOC claimed in the alternative that Sterling Jewelers maintained an excessively subjective system that had an illegal disparate impact on female retail sales employees. The EEOC sought injunctive and monetary relief, including back pay, promotion, compensation for lost benefits and emotional suffering, and development of policies and programs to provide equal opportunities to women and eliminate the effects of past discrimination. The EEOC also sought to recoup the cost of its litigation. The litigation was brought on behalf of the 18 charging parties and all other similarly situated female employees.

The progress of the case has been slow because of numerous disputes over procedure and discovery.

On January 6, 2010, the Court (Judge Richard J. Arcara) denied Sterling's motion to dismiss all claims for conduct preceding the statute of limitations period for the first party to file charges with the EEOC, holding that the EEOC was not bound by the statute of limitations, which applied only to individuals. 2010 WL 86376 (W.D.N.Y. 2010)

On July 15, 2010, the Court (Magistrate Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy), among other things, allowed the charging parties to intervene in the proceedings to participate in argument over the scope of a protective order. 2010 WL 2803017 (W.D.N.Y. 2010). For contractual reasons the charging parties were pursuing their claims separately in a class-action arbitration and wanted to be able to receive discovery information from the EEOC, though they were prohibited from sharing information with the EEOC. See Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. The protective order was issued on July 23, 2011.

On April 25, 2011, the Court (Judge Richard J. Arcara) bifurcated the trial and discovery into two phases, liability (Stage I) and damages (Stage II). Stage I generally covered the issue of whether there was a disparate impact on female retail employees at Sterling to establish a pattern or practice of discrimination, while Stage II would occur only if the EEOC prevailed at phase I and covered the individual aspects of each employee's case along with whether there was a legitimate business reason for the disparity. The EEOC sought to have the punitive damages determination included in phase I, but the Court rejected that approach. 788 F.Supp.2d 83 (W.D.N.Y. 2011).

The bifurcation was followed by extensive discovery disputes from 2011 to 2012.

On September 25, 2013, Sterling moved for partial summary judgment on the grounds that the EEOC failed to satisfy its obligation to conduct an adequate, nationwide investigation of Sterling's employment practices. To this, the EEOC stated that courts need not inquire into the sufficiency of the investigation itself.

On March 10, 2014, the Court adopted the Magistrate Judge’s Report and Recommendation, which granted in part and denied in part the motion for summary judgment. The court granted partial summary judgment on the claim that the EEOC failed to prove that it satisfied its statutory obligation to conduct a pre-suit investigation, and it denied Sterling’s motion to strike portions of the EEOC’s Statement of Facts for the reason that it contained “statement[s] that rely on an admissible evidence not in the record, as well as legal argument and generalized conclusory statements.” 3 F.Supp.3d 57

On May 15, 2014, the EEOC filed an appeal, arguing that the district court erred in granting summary judgment because the magistrate judge improperly reviewed the sufficiency of the EEOC's investigation, rather than whether there was an investigation or not.

The Second Circuit Court of Appeals agreed and decided on September 9, 2015, to vacate the district court's summary judgment order, thus remanding the case for further proceedings. 801 F.3d 96

On May 4, 2017, the EEOC and Sterling entered into a consent decree. The court maintained jurisdiction for a period of three years and three months. Provisions included enjoining Sterling's conduct, the appointment of an employment practice expert to oversee and recommend changes within Sterling, training, and further additional internal procedures for implementing equal employment practices. While there was no award of attorney's fees, Sterling agreed to bear all expenses that it would incur to implement the provisions of the consent decree.

In 2018, a dispute arose between Sterling and the EEOC regarding Sterling's rejection of a merit pay program that the EEOC had proposed pursuant to the consent decree. The EEOC claimed that Sterling had not provided a legitimate business reason for rejecting the proposal. The parties submitted the issue to Fred Alvarez through their mutually agreed upon dispute resolution mechanism. Mr. Alvarez issued a decision on June 19, 2019, holding that Sterling had not demonstrated that its alternative merit pay program would be less adversely impactful to their female retail sales employees than the EEOC's proposal.

After the EEOC sought relief from Sterling, the parties agreed to extend the term of the decree for 15 months until November of 2021 in order to verify Sterling's implementation of the new merit pay compensation program. On March 11, 2020, Judge Arcara granted the extension.

The consent decree remains in force.

Summary Authors

Kenneth Gray (6/14/2013)

Jennifer Huseby (10/11/2018)

Jonah Feitelson (4/17/2020)

Related Cases

Jock v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc., Southern District of New York (2008)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4358076/parties/equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-sterling-jewelers-inc/


Judge(s)

Arcara, Richard Joseph (New York)

McCarthy, Jeremiah J. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abel, Natasha L. (Pennsylvania)

Batog, Konrad (New York)

Biltekoff, Judith Ann (New York)

Blackman, Amos (New York)

Burstein, Jeffrey C. (New Jersey)

Curtin, Nora E. (Florida)

Grossman, Elizabeth (New York)

Hernandez, Lisa Hope (Pennsylvania)

Judge(s)

Arcara, Richard Joseph (New York)

McCarthy, Jeremiah J. (New York)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Abel, Natasha L. (Pennsylvania)

Batog, Konrad (New York)

Biltekoff, Judith Ann (New York)

Blackman, Amos (New York)

Burstein, Jeffrey C. (New Jersey)

Curtin, Nora E. (Florida)

Grossman, Elizabeth (New York)

Hernandez, Lisa Hope (Pennsylvania)

Hope, Jennifer Lynn (Pennsylvania)

Malloy, Margaret Ann (New York)

Mays, Lawrence (Ohio)

Mulaire, Justin (New York)

Pohl, Anna Marie (District of Columbia)

Riccardi, Sebastian (New York)

Rice, Liane Tai (New York)

Sanghvi, Ami T. (New York)

Stern, Jefferey A (Ohio)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Almon, Lorie (New York)

Dennison, J. Lynn (Ohio)

Dugan, William Francis (Illinois)

Galant, Gloria (New York)

Henry, Marcia (New York)

Horton, Scott Patrick (New York)

Janice, Christina M. (Illinois)

Kinson, Francis Patrick (Illinois)

Klein, Daniel B. (Massachusetts)

Maatman, Gerald L Jr. (Illinois)

Monahan, John M. (New York)

Murphy, Brian Daniel (New York)

Ptak, Stash (Ohio)

Ross, David Bennet (New York)

Rossiter, Britt (Ohio)

Scharlat, Richard Ira (New York)

Zashin, Stephen S (Ohio)

Other Attorney(s)

Eppers, Donald (New York)

Mezzetti, Lisa M. (District of Columbia)

Sellers, Joseph Marc (District of Columbia)

Sofferin, Lisa T. (New York)

Yang, Jenny R. (District of Columbia)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket [PACER]

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

March 11, 2020 Docket
1

Complaint, Jury Trial Demanded

EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

Sept. 23, 2008 Complaint
67

Order

EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

2010 WL 86376

Jan. 6, 2010 Order/Opinion
139

Decision and Order

EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

2010 WL 2803017

July 15, 2010 Order/Opinion
169

Decision and Order

EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

788 F.Supp.2d 83

April 25, 2011 Order/Opinion
246

Decision and Order

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York

2012 WL 1680811

May 14, 2012 Order/Opinion
383

Report, Recommendation and Order

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

Jan. 2, 2014 Order/Opinion
92

Opinion

Equal Employment Opportunity C v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit

801 F.3d 96

Sept. 9, 2015 Order/Opinion
435

Consent Decree

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc.

May 4, 2017 Order/Opinion
437

Amendment To and Extension of the Term of the Consent Decree

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Sterling Jewelers Inc.

March 11, 2020 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4358076/equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-sterling-jewelers-inc/

Last updated May 11, 2022, 8 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
1

COMPLAINT against Sterling Jewelers, Inc., filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission; jury demand.(DZ) (Entered: 09/24/2008)

Sept. 23, 2008 PACER
2

WAIVER OF SERVICE Returned Executed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Sterling Jewelers, Inc. waiver sent on 9/26/2008, answer due 11/26/2008. (Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 10/14/2008)

Oct. 14, 2008 PACER
3

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. identifying Corporate Parent Signet Group plc for Sterling Jewelers, Inc... (Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
4

NOTICE of Appearance by Richard Ira Scharlat on behalf of Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Richard Ira Scharlat on behalf of Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
6

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of William F. Dugan by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of William Dugan, # 2 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat)(Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

2 Declaration of William Dugan

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3 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat

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Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
7

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Britt J. Rossiter by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Britt J. Rossiter, # 2 Declaration of Stephen Zashin)(Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

2 Declaration of Britt J. Rossiter

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3 Declaration of Stephen Zashin

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Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
8

ANSWER to 1 Complaint with Affirmative Defenses by Sterling Jewelers, Inc..(Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
9

MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat in Support, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B)(Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

2 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat in Support

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3 Exhibit A

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4 Exhibit B

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Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
10

MEMORANDUM in Support re 9 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
11

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. to 10 Memorandum in Support of Motion (Compendium of UnReported Cases Cited in Defendant Sterling Jewelers Inc.'s Memorandum of Law in Support of Its Motion to Dismiss with Tab A through L) filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
12

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. identifying Corporate Parent Signet Group, plc for Sterling Jewelers, Inc... (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
13

NOTICE of Appearance by Gerald L. Maatman, Jr on behalf of Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
14

ANSWER to 1 Complaint with Affirmative Defenses by Sterling Jewelers, Inc..(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
15

MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat, # 2 Exhibit A, # 3 Exhibit B)(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

2 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat

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3 Exhibit A

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4 Exhibit B

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Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
16

MEMORANDUM in Support re 15 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
17

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS to 16 Memorandum in Support of Motion. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
18

MOTION An Order permitting Defendant to proceed in this action without retaining local counsel by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat)(Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/25/2008)

2 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat

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Nov. 25, 2008 PACER
19

ADR Notice and Plan forwarded to attorneys.(DZ) (Entered: 11/26/2008)

Nov. 26, 2008 PACER
20

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. re 16 Memorandum in Support of Motion to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 (Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/26/2008)

Nov. 26, 2008 PACER
21

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. re 17 Continuation of Exhibits : Compendium of Unreported Cases Cited in Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Support of its Motion to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alledged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 with Tabs A to L (Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 11/26/2008)

Nov. 26, 2008 PACER
22

ORDER REFERRING CASE to Magistrate Judge Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy. Signed by Hon. Richard J. Arcara on 11/26/2008. (JMB) (Entered: 11/26/2008)

Nov. 26, 2008 PACER
23

TEXT ORDER: Plaintiff's response to defendant's motion to dismiss 15 shall be served and filed on or before December 31, 2008; a reply, if any shall be served and filed on or before January 14, 2009, after which time the motion will be taken under advisement without oral argument unless requested by the parties or deemed necessary by the court. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 11-28-09. (DAZ) (Entered: 11/28/2008)

Nov. 28, 2008 PACER
24

ORDER granting 6 Motion for Leave to Appear pro hac vice (William F. Dugan, Esq.). Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 11-28-08. (DAZ) (Entered: 11/28/2008)

Nov. 28, 2008 PACER
25

ORDER granting 7 Motion for Leave to Appear pro hac vice (Britt J. Rossiter, Esq.). Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 11-28-08. (DAZ) (Entered: 11/28/2008)

Nov. 28, 2008 PACER
26

TEXT ORDER: Defendant's motion for leave to proceed without local counsel 18 is DENIED, without prejudice. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 12/1/08. (The Court has mailed copies of this Order to William F. Dugan, David Bennet Ross, Britt J. Rossiter). (Entered: 12/01/2008)

Dec. 1, 2008 PACER
27

NOTICE of Appearance by Stephen S. Zashin on behalf of Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (Zashin, Stephen) (Entered: 12/08/2008)

Dec. 8, 2008 PACER
28

NOTICE of Appearance by Marcia Henry on behalf of Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (Henry, Marcia) (Entered: 12/19/2008)

Dec. 19, 2008 PACER
29

MOTION for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice of Francis Patrick Kinson by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Declaration of Francis Patrick Kinson, # 2 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat)(Scharlat, Richard) (Entered: 12/19/2008)

2 Declaration of Francis Patrick Kinson

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3 Declaration of Richard I. Scharlat

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Dec. 19, 2008 PACER
30

ORDER granting 29 Motion for Leave to Appear Pro Hac Vice. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 12/23/08. (DAZ) (The Court has mailed a copy of this Order to Britt J. Rossiter, David Bennet Ross and Francis Patrick Kinson). (Entered: 12/24/2008)

Dec. 23, 2008 PACER
31

MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 15 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 12/31/2008)

Dec. 31, 2008 PACER
32

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission re 31 Memorandum in Opposition to Motion (Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 12/31/2008)

Dec. 31, 2008 PACER
33

NOTICE of Appearance by John M. Monahan on behalf of Sterling Jewelers, Inc. (Monahan, John) (Entered: 01/14/2009)

Jan. 14, 2009 PACER
34

MEMORANDUM in Support re 15 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 01/14/2009)

2 Certificate of Service

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Jan. 14, 2009 PACER
35

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS to 34 Memorandum in Support of Motion (Compendium of Unreported Cases to Defendant's Reply Memorandum in Support of its Motion to Dismiss Any Aspects of The Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004). (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 01/15/2009)

Jan. 15, 2009 PACER
36

NOTICE of Appearance by Elizabeth Grossman on behalf of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Attachments: # 1 Notice of Appearance)(Grossman, Elizabeth) (Entered: 01/15/2009)

2 Notice of Appearance

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Jan. 15, 2009 PACER
37

MOTION for Leave to File Document Addressing Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/02/2009)

Feb. 2, 2009 PACER
38

TEXT ORDER : Plaintiff's motion for leave to file a document addressing the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act 37 is GRANTED. Plaintiff may file and serve this document on or before February 13, 2009, and defendant may file and serve a response on or before February 23, 2009. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 2/3/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 02/03/2009)

Feb. 3, 2009 PACER
39

MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 15 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 Supplemental Brief filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/13/2009)

2 Certificate of Service

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Feb. 13, 2009 PACER
40

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages to Responsive Brief by Sterling Jewelers, Inc..(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 02/18/2009)

Feb. 18, 2009 PACER
41

NOTICE by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. to the Court of Constitutional Challenge Pursuant to Rule 24 of the Local Rules for the Western District of New York (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 02/19/2009)

Feb. 19, 2009 PACER
42

ORDER granting 40 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 2/19/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 02/20/2009)

Feb. 20, 2009 PACER
43

REPLY/RESPONSE to re 39 Memorandum in Opposition to Motion, Defendant's Memorandum of Law in Response to the EEOC's Supplemental Briefing filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 02/23/2009)

Feb. 23, 2009 PACER
44

MOTION for Leave to File Response by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/25/2009)

Feb. 25, 2009 PACER
45

ORDER granting 44 Motion for Leave to File. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 2/27/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 02/27/2009)

Feb. 27, 2009 PACER
46

REPLY/RESPONSE to re 43 Reply/Response filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 03/06/2009)

2 Certificate of Service

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March 6, 2009 PACER
47

MOTION for Leave to File Excess Pages of its sur-reply brief to EEOC's reply brief by Sterling Jewelers, Inc..(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 03/11/2009)

March 11, 2009 PACER
48

ORDER granting 47 Motion for Leave to File Excess Pages. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 3/12/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 03/12/2009)

March 12, 2009 PACER
49

MEMORANDUM/BRIEF re 46 Reply/Response : Defendant's Reply Memorandum in Response to the EEOC's Supplemental Briefing by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 03/16/2009)

2 Certificate of Service

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March 16, 2009 PACER
50

TEXT ORDER : Oral argument of defendant's motion for partial dismissal 15 is set for June 19, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 4/20/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 04/20/2009)

April 20, 2009 PACER
51

TEXT ORDER : At the parties' request, oral argument of defendant's motion for partial dismissal 15 is rescheduled to June 26, 2009 at 2:00 p.m. before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 4/20/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 04/20/2009)

April 20, 2009 PACER
52

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy: Oral Argument held on 6/26/2009. Parties argued their various positions, cited case law. Participants: Margaret Ann Malloy for Plaintiff and John M. Monahan and Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. for Defendant. (DAZ) (Entered: 06/26/2009)

June 26, 2009 PACER
53

TEXT ORDER : As agreed during oral argument today, the parties' post-argument submissions (not to exceed 5 pages in length) shall be filed by July 17, 2009, whereupon the motion 15 will be deemed submitted. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 6/26/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 06/26/2009)

June 26, 2009 PACER
54

NOTICE OF FILING OF OFFICIAL TRANSCRIPT of Proceedings held on 6/26/09, before Judge Jeremiah J. McCarthy. Court Reporter/Transcriber Michelle L. McLaughlin, Telephone number (716) 332-3560. Transcript may be viewed at the court public terminal or purchased through the Court Reporter/Transcriber before the deadline for Release of Transcript Restriction. After that date it may be obtained through PACER.. Redaction Request due 7/29/2009. Redacted Transcript Deadline set for 8/10/2009. Release of Transcript Restriction set for 10/6/2009. (DZ) (Entered: 07/08/2009)

July 8, 2009 PACER
55

REPLY/RESPONSE to re 53 Order, 15 Motion, Set Deadlines/Hearings, /Letter Response filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) Text Modified on 7/20/2009 (DZ). (Entered: 07/17/2009)

July 17, 2009 PACER
56

RESPONSE in Opposition re 15 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 supplemental letter brief filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 07/17/2009)

July 17, 2009 PACER
57

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission re 56 Response in Opposition to Motion, (Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 07/20/2009)

July 20, 2009 PACER
58

CERTIFICATE OF SERVICE by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. re 55 Reply/Response in further support of Defendants Motion to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 07/20/2009)

July 20, 2009 PACER
59

REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 15 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. Objections due ten days from receipt. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 9/30/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 09/30/2009)

Sept. 30, 2009 RECAP
60

AMENDED REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION re 15 MOTION to Dismiss Any Aspects of the Complaint Seeking Relief for Alleged Discrimination Prior to July 22, 2004 filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc. Objections due ten days from receipt. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 10/1/09. (DAZ) (Entered: 10/01/2009)

Oct. 1, 2009 RECAP
61

OBJECTION to 60 Report and Recommendations /Objections Pursuant to Rule 72 to Magistrate Judge McCarthy's Amended Report and Recommendation by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 10/14/2009)

Oct. 14, 2009 PACER
62

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS to 61 Objection to Report and Recommendations /Compendium of Unreported Cases Cited in Defendant's Objections Pursuant to Rule 72 to Magistrate Judge McCarthy's Amended Report and Recommendation (Part 1). (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 10/14/2009)

Oct. 14, 2009 PACER
63

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS /Compendium of Unreported Cases Cited in Defendant's Objections Pursuant to Rule 72 to Magistrate Judge McCarthy's Amended Report and Recommendation (Part 2). (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 10/14/2009)

Oct. 14, 2009 PACER
64

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS to 61 Objection to Report and Recommendations, 62 Continuation of Exhibits, /Re-File of Part 2 of Compendium. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service for Compendium of Unreported Cases Cited in Defendant Sterling Jewelers Inc.'s Objections Pursuant to Rule 72 to Magistrate Judge McCarthy's Amended Reported and Recommendation)(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 10/15/2009)

2 Certificate of Service for Compendium of Unreported Cases Cited in Defendant Ste

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Oct. 15, 2009 PACER
65

REPLY/RESPONSE to re 61 Objection to Report and Recommendations filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 11/03/2009)

2 Certificate of Service

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Nov. 3, 2009 PACER
66

NOTICE of Appearance by Ami T. Sanghvi on behalf of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Sanghvi, Ami) (Entered: 11/13/2009)

Nov. 13, 2009 PACER
67

ORDER adopting AMENDED Report and Recommendation re 60 denying 15 Motion to Dismiss. Case is referred back to Magistrate Jude McCarthy for further proceedings. Signed by Hon. Richard J. Arcara on 1/6/2010. (JMB) (Entered: 01/06/2010)

Jan. 6, 2010 RECAP
68

ORDER OF PRELIMINARY PRETRIAL CONFERENCE set for 2/5/2010 AT 02:00 PM before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 1/6/10. (DAZ) (Entered: 01/07/2010)

Jan. 6, 2010 PACER
69

MOTION for Leave to Appeal Certification of Issues for Interlocutory Appeal by Sterling Jewelers, Inc..(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 01/19/2010)

Jan. 19, 2010 PACER
70

DECLARATION signed by Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. re 69 MOTION for Leave to Appeal Certification of Issues for Interlocutory Appeal filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 01/19/2010)

Jan. 19, 2010 PACER
71

MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT re 69 MOTION for Leave to Appeal Certification of Issues for Interlocutory Appeal bySterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 01/19/2010)

Jan. 19, 2010 PACER
72

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS re 71 Memorandum In Support re 69 Motion for Leave to Appeal, "Compendium of Unreported Cases Cited"/I> bySterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) Modified title on 1/20/2010 (SG). (Entered: 01/19/2010)

Jan. 19, 2010 PACER
73

TEXT ORDER Plaintiff to file a response to defendant's motion for certificateon of issues and for interlocutory appeal by 2/5/2010. Defendant's reply due by 2/12/2010, after which time the matte will be deemed submitted. Signed by Hon. Richard J. Arcara on 1/20/2010. (JMB) (Entered: 01/20/2010)

Jan. 20, 2010 PACER
74

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Proposed Scheduling/Case Management Order by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 01/22/2010)

Jan. 22, 2010 PACER
75

DISCOVERY PLAN by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 01/25/2010)

2 Certificate of Service

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Jan. 25, 2010 PACER
76

AMENDED DOCUMENT by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Amendment to 75 Discovery Plan. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 01/26/2010)

2 Certificate of Service

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Jan. 26, 2010 PACER
77

ORDER granting 74 Motion for Extension of Time to File. Signed by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 1/26/10. (DAZ) (Entered: 01/26/2010)

Jan. 26, 2010 PACER
78

TEXT ORDER : At plaintiff's request and with defendant's consent, the February 5, 2010 conference is adjourned from 2:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. SO ORDERED.Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 1/28/10. (DAZ) (Entered: 01/28/2010)

Jan. 28, 2010 PACER
79

MOTION for Discovery Coordination by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/02/2010)

2 Certificate of Service

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Feb. 2, 2010 PACER
80

MOTION Sterling's response to the EEOC's letter request of February 2, 2010, regarding discovery coordination re 79 MOTION for Discovery Coordination by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 02/03/2010)

2 Certificate of Service

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Feb. 3, 2010 PACER
81

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy: Status/Scheduling Conference held on 2/5/2010. Participants: Margaret Ann Malloy for Plaintiff (via telephone), Scott Patrick Horton (local) and Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. (via telephone) for Defendant. (DAZ) (Entered: 02/05/2010)

Feb. 5, 2010 PACER
82

TEXT ORDER : In accordance with today's proceeding, plaintiff's motion to bifurcate and to consolidate discovery shall be served and filed on or before February 12, 2010; a response shall be served and filed on or before February 19, 2010; a reply, if any, shall be served and filed on or before February 26, 2010, and oral argument is set for March 1, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy. The parties may participate via telephone by providing the court with a telephone number where they can be contacted. The court will initiate the call. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 2/5/10. (DAZ) (Entered: 02/05/2010)

Feb. 5, 2010 PACER
83

MEMORANDUM in Opposition re 69 MOTION for Leave to Appeal Certification of Issues for Interlocutory Appeal filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/05/2010)

2 Certificate of Service

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Feb. 5, 2010 PACER
84

REPLY/RESPONSE to re 83 Memorandum in Opposition to Motion, 69 MOTION for Leave to Appeal Certification of Issues for Interlocutory Appeal /Defendant's Reply to the EEOC's Response To Defendant's Motion for Certification of Issues for Interlocutory Appeal filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 02/12/2010)

Feb. 12, 2010 PACER
85

MOTION to Bifurcate and Coordinate by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1, # 2 Exhibit, # 3 Exhibit 3, # 4 Exhibit 4, # 5 Exhibit 5, # 6 Exhibit 6, # 7 Exhibit 7, # 8 Exhibit 8, # 9 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/12/2010)

2 Exhibit 1

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3 Exhibit

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4 Exhibit 3

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5 Exhibit 4

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6 Exhibit 5

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7 Exhibit 6

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8 Exhibit 7

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9 Exhibit 8

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10 Certificate of Service

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Feb. 12, 2010 PACER
86

RESPONSE to Motion re 85 MOTION to Bifurcate and Coordinate /Defendant's Response To The EEOC's Motion For Bifurcation Of Discovery And Trial And For Coordination Of Discovery filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit 1 - Order In EEOC v. LA Weight Loss, # 2 Exhibit 2 - Memorandum & Order In EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Restaurants, Inc., # 3 Exhibit 3 - Declaration Of Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Counsel For Sterling Jewelers Inc., Including Exhibits A-E, # 4 Exhibit A To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Notice Of Depositions To Claimant's Counsel In The AAA Proceeding, # 5 Exhibit B To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Rule 33 Interrogatories And Rule 34 Requests To Produce Documents Served On The EEOC On 2/5/10, # 6 Exhibit C To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Notice Of Deposition To The EEOC In EEOC v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., # 7 Exhibit D To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Correspondence To The EEOC Dated 2/17/10, # 8 Exhibit E To Maatman Declaration - Mediation And Confidentiality Agreement And Addendum Between The EEOC And Sterling, # 9 Exhibit 4 - Case Management Order Re Class Certification In Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. (AAA Oct. 29, 2009), # 10 Exhibit 5 - Protective Order Regarding Exchange Of Confidential Information In Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc. (AAA Jan. 8, 2010), # 11 Exhibit 6 - EEOC Letter Of Determination (Dated Jan. 3, 2008))(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 02/19/2010)

2 Exhibit 1 - Order In EEOC v. LA Weight Loss

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3 Exhibit 2 - Memorandum & Order In EEOC v. McCormick & Schmick's Seafood Res

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4 Exhibit 3 - Declaration Of Gerald L. Maatman, Jr., Counsel For Sterling Jewelers

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5 Exhibit A To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Notice Of Depositions To Clai

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6 Exhibit B To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Rule 33 Interrogatories And R

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7 Exhibit C To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Notice Of Deposition To The E

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8 Exhibit D To Maatman Declaration - Sterling's Correspondence To The EEOC Da

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9 Exhibit E To Maatman Declaration - Mediation And Confidentiality Agreement And A

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10 Exhibit 4 - Case Management Order Re Class Certification In Jock, et al. v. Ster

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11 Exhibit 5 - Protective Order Regarding Exchange Of Confidential Information In J

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12 Exhibit 6 - EEOC Letter Of Determination (Dated Jan. 3, 2008)

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Feb. 19, 2010 PACER
87

CONTINUATION OF EXHIBITS by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. to 86 Response to Motion,,,,,, /Defendant's Compendium of Unreported Cases Cited in Defendant Sterling Jeweler Inc.'s Response to the EEOC's Motion for Bifurcation of Discovery and Trial and for Coordination of Discovery filed by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Tab A - Balalovski v. Lucent Techs., Inc., # 2 Tab B - Barefield v. Chevron, # 3 Tab C - Butler v. Home Depot, # 4 Tab D - Chapman v. Carmike Cinemas, Inc., # 5 Tab E - County of Suffolk v. Amerada Hess Corp. (In Re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Ether (MTBE) Prods. Liab. Litig.), # 6 Tab F - EEOC v. ABM Indus., # 7 Tab G - EEOC v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc., # 8 Tab H - EEOC v. Intl Profit Assocs., Inc., # 9 Tab I - EEOC v. McCormick & Schmicks, # 10 Tab J - EEOC v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., # 11 Tab K - In Re Cmty. Bank of N. Va., # 12 Tab L - Medical Diagnostic Imaging, PLLC v. Carecore Natl, LLC, # 13 Tab M - Serrano v. Cintas Corp., # 14 Tab N - Simonetti v. Runyon, # 15 Tab O - Williams v. United Parcel Serv., Inc., # 16 Tab P - Zenith Radio Corp. v. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co.)(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 02/22/2010)

2 Tab A - Balalovski v. Lucent Techs., Inc.

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3 Tab B - Barefield v. Chevron

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4 Tab C - Butler v. Home Depot

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5 Tab D - Chapman v. Carmike Cinemas, Inc.

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6 Tab E - County of Suffolk v. Amerada Hess Corp. (In Re Methyl Tertiary Butyl Et

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7 Tab F - EEOC v. ABM Indus.

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8 Tab G - EEOC v. CRST Van Expedited, Inc.

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9 Tab H - EEOC v. Intl Profit Assocs., Inc.

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10 Tab I - EEOC v. McCormick & Schmicks

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11 Tab J - EEOC v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.

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12 Tab K - In Re Cmty. Bank of N. Va.

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13 Tab L - Medical Diagnostic Imaging, PLLC v. Carecore Natl, LLC

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14 Tab M - Serrano v. Cintas Corp.

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15 Tab N - Simonetti v. Runyon

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16 Tab O - Williams v. United Parcel Serv., Inc.

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17 Tab P - Zenith Radio Corp. v. Matsushita Elec. Industrial Co.

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Feb. 22, 2010 PACER
88

ORDER denying 69 Motion for Leave to Appeal. Case is referred back to Magistrate Judge McCarthy for further proceedings. Signed by Hon. Richard J. Arcara on 2/26/2010. (JMB) (Entered: 02/26/2010)

Feb. 26, 2010 RECAP
89

NOTICE by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission of Appearance of Nora E. Curtin for EEOC (Attachments: # 1 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/26/2010)

2 Certificate of Service

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Feb. 26, 2010 PACER
90

REPLY/RESPONSE to re 85 MOTION to Bifurcate and Coordinate filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit Letter from Sterling to Arbitrator, # 2 Exhibit Letter from plaintiffs to Arbitrator, # 3 Exhibit Plaintiffs' Brief to Arbitrator, # 4 Exhibit Sterling's Document Requests to EEOC, # 5 Exhibit Sterling's Document Requests in Arbitration, # 6 Certificate of Service)(Malloy, Margaret) (Entered: 02/26/2010)

2 Exhibit Letter from Sterling to Arbitrator

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3 Exhibit Letter from plaintiffs to Arbitrator

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4 Exhibit Plaintiffs' Brief to Arbitrator

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5 Exhibit Sterling's Document Requests to EEOC

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6 Exhibit Sterling's Document Requests in Arbitration

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7 Certificate of Service

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Feb. 26, 2010 PACER
91

STATUS REPORT /Letter To Magistrate Judge McCarthy Pursuant To His Request At The Motion Hearing On March 1, 2010 by Sterling Jewelers, Inc.. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A - Examples Of Sterlings Workplace Arbitration Agreements (From Laryssa Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers Inc., Case No. 08-Civ-2875 (JSR) (S.D.N.Y.) (Document No. 45, dated June 2, 2008)))(Maatman, Gerald) (Entered: 03/01/2010)

2 Exhibit A - Examples Of Sterlings Workplace Arbitration Agreements (From Laryssa

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March 1, 2010 PACER
92

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy: Oral Argument re plaintiff's motion to bifurcate and to consolidate discovery 85 held on 3/1/10. Decision to follow. Participants: Margaret Ann Malloy (via telephone) and Nora Curtin for Plaintiff; Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. (via telephone) and Scott Patrick Horton for Defendant. (DAZ) (Entered: 03/01/2010)

March 1, 2010 PACER
93

NOTICE of Appearance by Judith Ann Biltekoff on behalf of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Biltekoff, Judith) (Entered: 03/05/2010)

March 5, 2010 PACER
94

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy: In Chambers Telephonic Status Conference re discovery issues held on 3/5/2010. Participants: Margaret Ann Malloy for Plaintiff and Gerald L. Maatman, Jr. for Defendant. (DAZ) (Entered: 03/05/2010)

March 5, 2010 PACER
95

TEXT ORDER : A telephonic status conference concerning plaintiff's March 17, 2010 discovery letter is set for March 24, 2010 at 10:00 a.m. before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy. Defendant shall submit a letter response by March 19, 2010. The parties shall provide the court with a telephone number where they can be contacted. The court will initiate the call. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 3/17/10. (DAZ) (Entered: 03/17/2010)

March 17, 2010 PACER
96

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy: Telephonic Status Conference re discovery issues held on 3/24/2010. A further conference is scheduled for April 14, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. Participants: Margaret Ann Malloy for Plaintiff and Gerald L. Maatman for Defendant. (DAZ) (Entered: 03/24/2010)

March 24, 2010 PACER
97

TEXT ORDER : In accordance with today's proceeding, the parties shall confer and advise me in writing by April 7, 2010 what issues, if any, remain regarding the sufficiency of the investigative files produced by the EEOC. A status conference concerning this issue is set for April 14, 2010 at 2:00 p.m. The parties may participate via telephone by providing the court with a telephone number where they can be contacted. The court will initiate the call. Additionally, for the reasons placed on the record at today's proceeding, that aspect of the EEOC's motion 85 seeking coordinated discovery with the AAA arbitration in Jock, et al. v. Sterling Jewelers, Inc. is DENIED. The remaining aspect of the motion 85 seeking bifurcation will be addressed by Judge Arcara. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 3/24/10. (DAZ) (Entered: 03/24/2010)

March 24, 2010 PACER
98

TEXT ORDER : At the parties' request, the April 14, 2010 conference is rescheduled to April 15, 2010 at 12:30 p.m. before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy. SO ORDERED. Issued by Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy on 4/7/10. (DAZ) (Entered: 04/07/2010)

April 7, 2010 PACER
99

Minute Entry for proceedings held before Hon. Jeremiah J. McCarthy: Status Conference held re investigative files issue on 4/15/2010. Participants: Nora E. Curtin, Margaret Ann Malloy, Judith Ann Biltekoff for Plaintiff; Gerald L. Maatman Jr. and Scott Patrick Horton for Defendant. (DAZ) (Entered: 04/15/2010)

April 15, 2010 PACER
102

Minute Entry for proceedings held 4/15/2010 before Hon. Richard J. Arcara. Oral Argument is held as to 85 Motion to Bifurcate filed by plaintiff. The Court is advised that all parties are in agreement that this matter needs to be bifurcated, however, at issue is whether punitive damages need to be addressed at stage I.. The Court reserves decision on the bifurcation issues. The Court questions the parties as to whether this matter should be stayed pending resolution of the arbitration. Appearances: Pltf - Margaret Molloy, Nora Curtin and Judith Biltekoff; Deft - Gerald Maatman and Scott Horton. (Court Reporter Yvonne Garrison.) (EAK) Modified on 4/30/2010 (EAK). (Entered: 04/21/2010)

April 15, 2010 PACER

State / Territory: New York

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 9, 2008

Case Ongoing: Yes

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

EEOC filing on behalf of 18 female retail sales employees and all other similarly situated female employees.

Plaintiff Type(s):

EEOC Plaintiff

Attorney Organizations:

EEOC

Public Interest Lawyer: Yes

Filed Pro Se: No

Class Action Sought: No

Class Action Outcome: Not sought

Defendants

Sterling Jewelers, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Defendant Type(s):

Retailer

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

Any published opinion

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: 2017 - 2021

Content of Injunction:

Develop anti-discrimination policy

Discrimination Prohibition

Follow recruitment, hiring, or promotion protocols

Implement complaint/dispute resolution process

Monitoring

Other requirements regarding hiring, promotion, retention

Provide antidiscrimination training

Recordkeeping

Reporting

Required disclosure

Training

Utilize objective hiring/promotion criteria

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Pattern or Practice

Discrimination-area:

Pay / Benefits

Promotion

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

EEOC-centric:

Direct Suit on Merits