Case: EEOC v. Catastrophe Management Solutions

1:13-cv-00476 | U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Filed Date: Sept. 30, 2013

Closed Date: 2018

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On September 30, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") brought this lawsuit against Catastrophe Management Solutions ("CMS") under Title VII in the Southern District of Alabama. The EEOC alleged that CMS violated Title VII by withdrawing an offer of employment to a black woman when she refused to cut off her dreadlocks during the hiring process and claimed CMS's policy prohibiting dreadlocks discriminated based on race. The plaintiff sought injunctive and monetary relief on…

On September 30, 2013, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") brought this lawsuit against Catastrophe Management Solutions ("CMS") under Title VII in the Southern District of Alabama. The EEOC alleged that CMS violated Title VII by withdrawing an offer of employment to a black woman when she refused to cut off her dreadlocks during the hiring process and claimed CMS's policy prohibiting dreadlocks discriminated based on race. The plaintiff sought injunctive and monetary relief on behalf of the individual who was denied a position.

On December 12, 2013, CMS moved to dismiss the plaintiff's case. CMS alleged that the plaintiff's complaint did not contain sufficient facts to show racially discriminatory intent on CMS's behalf. Additionally, CMS pleaded that it is impossible to discriminate on style choices under Title VII. On March 27, 2014, Senior United States District Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr. granted CMS's motion to dismiss, noting that no evidence was submitted in the complaint to demonstrate racially discriminatory intent, that while hair type (e.g. kinky) is an immutable characteristic, hairstyle (e.g. dreadlocks) can be changed, and that dreadlocks are not a hairstyle worn exclusively by black people. On the same day, the court issued a final judgment for CMS.

On April 28, 2014 the court denied the plaintiff's motion to amend the complaint to add expert evidence demonstrating racially discriminatory intent. On August 14, 2014, the plaintiff appealed to the Eleventh Circuit.

On September 15, 2016 Judge Adalberto Jordan, Judge Julie E. Carnes of the 11th Circuit and Judge Eduardo Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, sitting by designation, issued a judgment for the defendant. 837 F.3d 1156. On December 13, 2016, the 11th Circuit issued a revised opinion affirming the judgment of the district court, finding no evidence for racially discriminatory animus in the plaintiff's complaint and stating that hairstyle is mutable, regardless of its correlation to hair type, and therefore not protected under Title VII. The 11th Circuit opinion also noted that regardless of CMS's policy's disparate impact on black job candidates and employees, there is no disparate treatment because of the mutability of hairstyle.

On October 31, 2016 the plaintiffs petitioned for an en banc hearing. The NAACP submitted an amicus brief on December 2, 2016 in favor of the en banc hearing, but the 11th Circuit ultimately denied the petition on December 5, 2017.

On April 4, 2018, the woman who was denied employment moved to intervene in order to file a petition for writ of certiorari. The Supreme Court denied this on May 14, 2018. The case is now closed.

Summary Authors

Caitlin Hatakeyama (12/7/2018)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attrorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4127615/parties/equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-catastrophe-management-solutions/


Judge(s)

Butler, Charles Randolph Jr. (Alabama)

Milling, Bert W. Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bean, Julie Steptoe (Alabama)

Rucker, Marsha Lynn (Alabama)

Smith, C. Emanuel (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Whitney Ryan (Alabama)

Middlebrooks, David J. (Alabama)

Judge(s)

Butler, Charles Randolph Jr. (Alabama)

Milling, Bert W. Jr. (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Bean, Julie Steptoe (Alabama)

Rucker, Marsha Lynn (Alabama)

Smith, C. Emanuel (Alabama)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Brown, Whitney Ryan (Alabama)

Middlebrooks, David J. (Alabama)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

1:13-cv-00476

Docket

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Catastrophe Management Solutions

Dec. 13, 2017

Dec. 13, 2017

Docket
1

1:13-cv-00476

Complaint Jury Demand

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Catastrophe Management Solutions

Sept. 30, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

Complaint
19

1:13-cv-00476

Opinion and Order

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Catastrophe Management Solutions

11 F.Supp.3d 1139

March 27, 2014

March 27, 2014

Order/Opinion
36

1:13-cv-00476

14-13482

Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Alabama

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Catastrophe Management Solutions

U. S. Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

Dec. 13, 2016

Dec. 13, 2016

Pleading / Motion / Brief

Resources

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4127615/equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-catastrophe-management-solutions/

Last updated Aug. 8, 2022, 3:04 a.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link Date / Link
1

COMPLAINT against Catastrophe Management Solutions, filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Bean, Julie) Modified on 10/1/2013 (adk). (Additional attachment(s) added on 11/15/2013: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet) (clr). (Entered: 09/30/2013)

1 Civil Cover Sheet

View on PACER

Sept. 30, 2013

Sept. 30, 2013

RECAP
2

NOTICE of Filing Proposed Summons by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Smith, C.) (Entered: 11/08/2013)

Nov. 8, 2013

Nov. 8, 2013

PACER
3

Summons Issued as to Catastrophe Management Solutions. Note to Counsel: The Summons have been issued. Please print copies necessary for service. (eec) (Entered: 11/08/2013)

Nov. 8, 2013

Nov. 8, 2013

PACER
4

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Catastrophe Management Solutions served on 11/22/2013, answer due 12/13/2013. (Smith, C.) (Entered: 11/25/2013)

Nov. 25, 2013

Nov. 25, 2013

PACER
5

NOTICE of Appearance by Marsha Lynn Rucker on behalf of Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 11/25/2013)

Nov. 25, 2013

Nov. 25, 2013

PACER
6

Corporate Disclosure Statement filed by Defendant Catastrophe Management Solutions. (Middlebrooks, David) (Entered: 12/12/2013)

Dec. 12, 2013

Dec. 12, 2013

PACER
7

MOTION to Dismiss by Catastrophe Management Solutions. (Middlebrooks, David) (Entered: 12/12/2013)

Dec. 12, 2013

Dec. 12, 2013

PACER
8

Document endorsed NOTED by Magistrate Judge Bert W. Milling, Jr: Corporate Disclosure Statement 6 filed by Catastrophe Management Solutions (Milling, Bert) (Entered: 12/12/2013)

Dec. 12, 2013

Dec. 12, 2013

PACER
9

Order Setting Motion Deadline re: 7 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Catastrophe Management Solutions. Responses due by 1/9/2014. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 12/13/2013. copies to parties. (sdb) (Entered: 12/13/2013)

Dec. 13, 2013

Dec. 13, 2013

PACER
10

PRELIMINARY SCHEDULING ORDER entered. Rule 26 Meeting Report due by 1/27/2014. Signed by Magistrate Judge Bert W. Milling, Jr on 12/13/2013. copies to parties. (sdb) (Entered: 12/13/2013)

Dec. 13, 2013

Dec. 13, 2013

PACER
11

MOTION for Extension of Time by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 01/06/2014)

Jan. 6, 2014

Jan. 6, 2014

PACER
12

ENDORSED ORDER granting 11 Motion for Extension of Time Response to Motion due by 1/16/2014. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 1/8/2014. (aen) (Entered: 01/08/2014)

Jan. 8, 2014

Jan. 8, 2014

PACER
13

Memorandum in Opposition re 7 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 01/16/2014)

Jan. 16, 2014

Jan. 16, 2014

PACER
14

REPORT of Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting . (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 01/22/2014)

Jan. 22, 2014

Jan. 22, 2014

PACER
15

Order ( Initial Disclosures Due 2/7/2014) Clerk shall notify once a ruling is made on the motion to dismiss. Signed by Magistrate Judge Bert W. Milling, Jr on 1/23/2014. (adk) (Entered: 01/23/2014)

Jan. 23, 2014

Jan. 23, 2014

PACER
16

REPLY Brief filed by Defendant Catastrophe Management Solutions re: 7 MOTION to Dismiss filed by Catastrophe Management Solutions. (adk) (Entered: 01/27/2014)

Jan. 24, 2014

Jan. 24, 2014

PACER
17

Notice of Filing Initial Disclosures filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 02/10/2014)

Feb. 10, 2014

Feb. 10, 2014

PACER
18

Notice of Filing Initial Disclosures filed by Catastrophe Management Solutions. (Middlebrooks, David) (Entered: 02/10/2014)

Feb. 10, 2014

Feb. 10, 2014

PACER
19

ORDER granting 7 Motion to Dismiss. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 3/27/2014. (adk) (Entered: 03/27/2014)

March 27, 2014

March 27, 2014

RECAP
20

JUDGMENT in favor of Catastrophe Management Solutions against Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 3/27/2014. (adk) (Entered: 03/27/2014)

March 27, 2014

March 27, 2014

RECAP
21

MOTION to Amend Complaint 1 Complaint by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit A-Proposed Amended Complaint) (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 04/17/2014)

1 Exhibit A-Proposed Amended Complaint

View on PACER

April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014

PACER
22

Memorandum in Support re 21 MOTION to Amend Complaint 1 Complaint filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 04/17/2014)

April 17, 2014

April 17, 2014

PACER
23

RESPONSE in Opposition re 21 MOTION to Amend Complaint 1 Complaint filed by Catastrophe Management Solutions. (Middlebrooks, David) (Entered: 04/28/2014)

April 28, 2014

April 28, 2014

PACER
24

MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 05/05/2014)

May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

PACER
25

ENDORSED ORDER granting 24 Motion for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply re 24 MOTION for Extension of Time to File Response/Reply Replies due by 5/12/2014.. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 5/5/2014. (aen) (Entered: 05/05/2014)

May 5, 2014

May 5, 2014

PACER
26

REPLY to 21 MOTION to Amend Complaint 1 Complaint filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 05/12/2014)

May 12, 2014

May 12, 2014

PACER
27

ORDER denying 21 Motion to Amend Complaint. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 6/2/2014. (adk) (Entered: 06/02/2014)

June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014

PACER
28

Unopposed MOTION Entry of Final Order by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 06/11/2014)

June 11, 2014

June 11, 2014

PACER
29

ORDER denying 28 Motion. Signed by Senior Judge Charles R. Butler, Jr on 6/16/2014. (adk) (Entered: 06/16/2014)

June 16, 2014

June 16, 2014

PACER
30

NOTICE OF APPEAL as to 20 Judgment, 19 Order on Motion to Dismiss, 29 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief, 27 Order on Motion to Amend Complaint by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. ( IFP.) (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 08/01/2014)

Aug. 1, 2014

Aug. 1, 2014

PACER
31

Appeal Instructions for Marsha Rucker, Esq., re: 30 Notice of Appeal : The Civil Appeal Statement Form is available on the Internet at www.ca11.uscourts.gov. Transcript Information Form to be filed no later than 8/14/2014. (Note: no hearings). (jal) (Entered: 08/04/2014)

Aug. 4, 2014

Aug. 4, 2014

PACER
32

Transmission of Notice of Appeal and Docket Sheet to US Court of Appeals re: 20 Judgment, 19 Order on Motion to Dismiss, 29 Order on Motion for Miscellaneous Relief, 27 Order on Motion to Amend Complaint Judge Appealed: Judge Butler, Court Reporter: No Hearings, Fee Paid: EEOC (jal) (Entered: 08/04/2014)

Aug. 4, 2014

Aug. 4, 2014

PACER
33

TRANSCRIPT INFORMATION FORM filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission re: 30 Notice of Appeal. (Rucker, Marsha) (Entered: 08/05/2014)

Aug. 5, 2014

Aug. 5, 2014

PACER
34

NOTICE of Docketing Record on Appeal from USCA re 30 Notice of Appeal filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. USCA Case Number 14-13482-D (jal) (Entered: 08/11/2014)

Aug. 7, 2014

Aug. 7, 2014

PACER

Pursuant to F.R.A.P. 11(c), the Clerk of the District Court for the Southern District of Alabama certifies that the record is complete for purposes of this appeal re: 30 Notice of Appeal, Appeal No. 14-13482-D. The entire record on appeal is available electronically, (jal)

Aug. 11, 2014

Aug. 11, 2014

PACER
35

OPINION/ORDER of USCA as to 30 Notice of Appeal filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, AFFIRMED (Mandate to issue at a later date.) (jal) (Entered: 09/19/2016)

Sept. 15, 2016

Sept. 15, 2016

PACER
36

REVISED OPINION/ORDER of USCA as to 30 Notice of Appeal filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, WITHDRAWING 9/15/16 OPINION, AFFIRMED. (Mandate to issue at a later date.) (jal) (Entered: 12/14/2016)

Dec. 13, 2016

Dec. 13, 2016

PACER
37

MANDATE of USCA re: 30 Notice of Appeal filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Mandate issued 14-13482; USCA Case Number 14-13482. (srd) (Entered: 12/14/2017)

Dec. 13, 2017

Dec. 13, 2017

RECAP

Case Details

State / Territory: Alabama

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

Multi-LexSum (in sample)

Key Dates

Filing Date: Sept. 30, 2013

Closing Date: 2018

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

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

Catastrophe Management Solutions (Mobile), Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Constitutional Clause(s):

Equal Protection

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Defendant

Nature of Relief:

None

Source of Relief:

None

Issues

General:

Disparate Impact

Disparate Treatment

Pattern or Practice

Discrimination-area:

Discharge / Constructive Discharge / Layoff

Discipline

Hiring

Discrimination-basis:

Race discrimination

Race:

Black

EEOC-centric:

Direct Suit on Merits