Case: EEOC v. AutoZone, INC.

2:06-cv-00926 | U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona

Filed Date: March 30, 2006

Closed Date: 2012

Clearinghouse coding complete

Case Summary

On March 30, 2006, the Phoenix District Office of the EEOC filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The plaintiff sued the automobile repairer AutoZone, Inc. under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The plaintiff, representing a female employee of AutoZone Inc., asked the court for monetary relief for the complainant and injunctive relief enjoining the defendant from future discrimination on the basis of sex. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that her…

On March 30, 2006, the Phoenix District Office of the EEOC filed this lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona. The plaintiff sued the automobile repairer AutoZone, Inc. under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The plaintiff, representing a female employee of AutoZone Inc., asked the court for monetary relief for the complainant and injunctive relief enjoining the defendant from future discrimination on the basis of sex. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that her manager at AutoZone Inc. had sexually harassed her, and that her employer had retaliated against her when she complained of the sexual harassment.

On June 5, 2008 Judge Stephen M McNamee granted the plaintiff's motion for partial summary judgment with regard to the defendant's affirmative defense. AutoZone Inc. had argued as an affirmative defense that the complainant's previous conviction of disorderly conduct would have constituted termination regardless of her sexual harassment complaints. The Court found this defense lacked sufficient evidence and was merely speculation. AutoZone Inc. further argued an affirmative defense that punitive damages in this case were a violation of the state and federal constitution. Judge McNamee found this affirmative defense erroneous.

On September 11, 2008 Judge Stephen M McNamee denied the defendant's motion for summary judgment. Judge McNamee ruled that material questions remained with regard to the sexual harassment, the plaintiff's actions following the sexual harassment, and whether the complainant was retaliated against after she filed complaints of sexual harassment. Given these remaining questions, summary judgement was inappropriate.

The parties then disputed jury instruction. On December 11, 2008, the EEOC provided proposed jury instructions. The defendant claimed that the instructions were incorrect because the plaintiff had not pled that tangible employment action occurred in retaliation to her complaint. On June 1, 2009, Judge McNamee found the instructions proper. The model instructions direct the jury to find whether or not the complainant proved she had suffered a tangible employment action. If found, the defendant was vicariously liable for the manager's conduct, and the defendant's affirmative defense would not be considered.

On June 10, 2009, a jury found for the plaintiff. The jury found that the plaintiff did experience a hostile work environment, but also found that AutoZone Inc. did not retaliate against the complainant. The jury found AutoZone Inc. liable to the complainant for $15,000 in compensatory damages and $50,000 in punitive damages.

On June 22, 2009 the defendant moved for a judgment as a matter of law, or alliteratively, a new trial. On July 24, 2009 Judge McNamee found that there was legally sufficient evidence for the jury finding, and there was not mistake in the case. He denied both motions.

On June 25, 2009, the EEOC moved to amend the judgment to include equitable relief. On November 9, 2009, Judge McNamee partially granted the EEOC's motion. He granted requests to require training programs, and he granted the request to require updated posters with specific information about Title VII and a complaint process. He denied the motion for a permanent injunction enjoining the defendant from discriminating against employees based on sex because the complainant in this case was the only to come forward with a complaint, and because AutoZone had sufficiently shown that sexual harassment was unlikely to reoccur. He also denied relief requiring the defendant to investigate all employee complaints of sexual harassment from the last three years, relief requiring the defendant to change its complaint process, and relief requiring monitoring and reporting.

The Defendant then moved for partial reconsideration with regard to new postings on Title VII. One January 6, 2010, Judge McNamee ordered that the original posters may be used as a foundation, but he found three problems that must be corrected. The posters must be updated, they must include EEOC contact information for the Phoenix Field Office, and they must be moved further from the manager's offices.

On July 23, 2012, Judge McNamee found that the defendant had paid the ordered monetary damages, so he ordered that the bond securing judgment could be released.

Summary Authors

David Friedman (5/20/2008)

Gabriela Hybel (11/14/2016)

People

For PACER's information on parties and their attorneys, see: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4704392/parties/equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-autozone-inc/


Judge(s)

McNamee, Stephen M. (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Knoller, Guy David (Arizona)

Kruse, Katherine (Arizona)

Lopez, P. David (District of Columbia)

O'Neill, Mary Jo (Arizona)

Shanley, Sally C. (Arizona)

Winston, David Andrew (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Chess, Laurie M. (Florida)

Johnsen, Donald Peder (Arizona)

Kern, Tracy E (Louisiana)

Judge(s)

McNamee, Stephen M. (Arizona)

Attorneys(s) for Plaintiff

Knoller, Guy David (Arizona)

Kruse, Katherine (Arizona)

Lopez, P. David (District of Columbia)

O'Neill, Mary Jo (Arizona)

Shanley, Sally C. (Arizona)

Winston, David Andrew (Colorado)

Attorneys(s) for Defendant

Chess, Laurie M. (Florida)

Johnsen, Donald Peder (Arizona)

Kern, Tracy E (Louisiana)

Risey, Suzanne M. (Louisiana)

Documents in the Clearinghouse

Document

Docket (PACER)

EEOC v. Autozone, Inc.

July 25, 2012 Docket
1

Complaint and Jury Trial Demand

EEOC v. Autozone, Inc.

March 30, 2006 Complaint
101

Order

EEOC v. Autozone

2008 WL 2351039

June 5, 2008 Order/Opinion
115

Order

EEOC v. Autozone

2008 WL 4183389

Sept. 11, 2008 Order/Opinion
145

Order

EEOC v. Autozone

Jan. 15, 2009 Order/Opinion
199

Order

EEOC v. Autozone

June 1, 2009 Order/Opinion

Autozone, Inc. to Pay $65,000 for Sexual Harassment; EEOC Secures Unanimous Jury Verdict

EEOC v. Autozone

No Court

June 11, 2009 Press Release
239

Order

EEOC v. Autozone

July 24, 2009 Order/Opinion
264

Order

EEOC v. Autozone

Jan. 6, 2010 Order/Opinion
258

Order

EEOC v. Autozone

2009 WL 3763682

Nov. 9, 2016 Order/Opinion

Docket

See docket on RECAP: https://www.courtlistener.com/docket/4704392/equal-employment-opportunity-commission-v-autozone-inc/

Last updated May 19, 2022, 11:57 p.m.

ECF Number Description Date Link
28

ORDER granting 27 Motion for Extension of Time;Discovery due by 9/14/2007, Dispositive motions due by 11/2/2007, Final Pretrial Conference is re-set to 11/20/07 at 4:00, 10/3/07 Final Pretrial Conference is vacated. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 4/30/07.(LSP)

April 30, 2007 RECAP
1

COMPLAINT, filed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Attachments: # 1 Civil Cover Sheet)(Kruse, Katherine) (Entered: 03/30/2006)

March 30, 2006

This case has been assigned to the Honorable Stephen M. McNamee. All future pleadings or documents should bear the correct case number: CV06-926-PHX-SMM. (entered by JIR ) (Entered: 04/03/2006)

March 30, 2006
46

ORDER denying 45 STIPULATION to Extend Deadlines. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 8/9/07. (LSP)

Aug. 10, 2007 RECAP
2

Summons Issued as to Autozone, Inc.. (JIR ) (Entered: 04/03/2006)

April 3, 2006
61

ORDER denying 60 Motion to Extend Discovery. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 9/4/07.(MAP)

Sept. 5, 2007 RECAP
68

ORDER Final Pretrial Conference set for 11/20/2007 04:00 PM before Judge Stephen M McNamee FURTHER ORDERED if this case shall be tried to a jury, counsel shall prepare and sign a Proposed Pretrial Order and submit it to the Court no later than 10/19/2007. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 9/10/07. (MAP)

Sept. 11, 2007 RECAP
3

Standard Civil Track Initial ORDER . Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 4/10/2006. (TCA, ) (Entered: 04/12/2006)

April 10, 2006
4

SUMMONS Returned Executed by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. Autozone, Inc. served on 4/6/2006, answer due 4/26/2006. (Kruse, Katherine) (Entered: 04/17/2006)

April 17, 2006
83

ORDER granting 80 Motion for Extension of Time. Final Pre-Trial Conference scheduled for 11/20/07 is vacated. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 11/5/07.(LSP)

Nov. 5, 2007 RECAP
5

ANSWER to Complaint by Autozone, Inc..(Johnsen, Donald) (Entered: 04/25/2006)

April 25, 2006
87

ORDER granting 86 Motion for Extension of Time to 12/13/07 to file response to Dft's Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 11/21/07.(LSP)

Nov. 21, 2007 RECAP
98

ORDER granting 97 Motion for Extension of Time to 3/7/08 for Defendant's to file Response to Plaintiff's Motion. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 2/12/08.(LSP)

Feb. 20, 2008 RECAP
6

Corporate Disclosure Statement by Autozone, Inc.. (Johnsen, Donald) (Entered: 04/25/2006)

April 25, 2006
101

ORDER granting 81 Plaintff's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment as to affirmative defenses numbered six and eight in Defendant's Second Amended Answer. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 6/5/08.(LSP)

June 5, 2008 RECAP
7

MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice by Tracy E Kern on behalf of Autozone, Inc.. (BAS, ) (Entered: 05/16/2006)

May 16, 2006
8

ORDER pursuant to General Order 05-25 granting 7 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice.Per the Court's Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, applicant has five (5) days in which to register as a user of the Electronic Filing System. Registration to be accomplished via the court's website at www.azd.uscourts.gov. (BAS, )(This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (Entered: 05/16/2006)

May 16, 2006
102

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 96 EEOC's Motion to Strike. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED striking 89 EEOC's Response, 90 Response in Opposition to Motion, and 91 Statement and striking 93 Autozone's Reply in Support of Motion, and 94 Objection. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED denying 96 EEOC's Motion for Leave to file a Surreply and EEOC's Motion to Exclude Defendant's 2002 Employee Handbook from Evidence. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 6/18/08.(LSP)

June 19, 2008 RECAP
106

ORDER granting 105 Motion for leave to exceed the page limit for its Reply memorandum in support of its Motion for Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 7/10/08.(LSP)

July 10, 2008 RECAP
9

MOTION for Admission Pro Hac Vice by Suzanne M Risey on behalf of Autozone, Inc.. (BAS, ) (Entered: 05/16/2006)

May 16, 2006
10

ORDER pursuant to General Order 05-25 granting 9 Motion for Admission Pro Hac Vice.Per the Court's Administrative Policies and Procedures Manual, applicant has five (5) days in which to register as a user of the Electronic Filing System. Registration to be accomplished via the court's website at www.azd.uscourts.gov. (BAS, )(This is a TEXT ENTRY ONLY. There is no.pdf document associated with this entry.) (Entered: 05/16/2006)

May 16, 2006
115

ORDER denying Dft's 79 Motion for Summary Judgment; denying EEOC's 103 Response in Opposition to Motion/Request for an adverse inference; denying as moot EEOC's 108 Motion to Strike; denying as moot EEOC's 112 Motion to Strike. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 09/10/08.(DNH)

Sept. 11, 2008 RECAP
116

ORDER, re: FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE, Final Pretrial Conference set for 1/8/2009 04:00 PM before Judge Stephen M McNamee. Proposed Pretrial Order due by 12/12/2008 (see order for full details). Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 10/28/08. (REW, )

Oct. 28, 2008 RECAP
11

Notice re Preparedness for Scheduling Conference by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission re 3 Order (Kruse, Katherine) (Entered: 06/27/2006)

June 27, 2006
117

AMENDED ORDER re: FINAL PRETRIAL CONFERENCE, Final Pretrial Conference set for 1/8/2009 04:00 PM before Judge Stephen M McNamee. Proposed Pretrial Order due by 12/12/2008, re 116 Order (see order for full details). Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 10/29/08. (Attachments: # 1 Exhibit)(REW, )

1 Exhibit

View on PACER

Oct. 29, 2008 RECAP
12

ORDER Scheduling Conference set for 8/17/2006 04:00 PM in Courtroom 605, 401 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 before Judge Stephen M McNamee.. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 7/3/2006. (TCA, ) (Entered: 07/03/2006)

July 3, 2006
120

ORDER granting in part Dft's 118 Motion to Extend Deadline for Dft to Submit Objections to Pla's Deposition Designations. FURTHER ORDERED the deadline for filing the proposed pretrial order is extended to Wednesday, 12/17/08. The proposed pretrial order shall include objections to deposition testimony as well as the bases for the objections. (See document for further details). Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 12/8/2008.(LAD)

Dec. 9, 2008 RECAP
13

REPORT re: Rule 26(f) Planning Meeting by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (Kruse, Katherine) (Entered: 08/10/2006)

Aug. 10, 2006
14

Notice re Service of Intitial Disclosure Statement by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Kruse, Katherine) (Entered: 08/16/2006)

Aug. 16, 2006
141

ORDER denying as moot Plaintiff's 140 Unopposed Motion to Excuse David Lopez from Attendance at the Pretrial Conference. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 1/7/09.(REW, )

Jan. 7, 2009 RECAP
15

Notice re Service of Defendant's Rule 26 Initial Disclosures by Autozone, Inc. (Johnsen, Donald) (Entered: 08/17/2006)

Aug. 17, 2006
143

MEMORANDUM OF DECISION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part 127 Motion in Limine. FURTHER ORDERED that a jury trial is set for 6/2/09 at 9:00 a.m. before the Honorable Stephen M. McNamee. (See document for full details). Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 1/12/2009. (LAD)

Jan. 13, 2009 RECAP
16

Minute Entry (text only entry) for proceedings held before Judge Stephen M McNamee : Apr. Katherine Kruse for pla, pla present, Donald Johnsen/Tracy Kern for dft, client Rep Robert Gomez presentScheduling Conference held on 8/17/2006. Pretrial Conference set for 10/3/2007 04:00 PM in Courtroom 605, 401 West Washington Street, Phoenix, AZ 85003 before Judge Stephen M McNamee. Court order to follow.(Court Reporter Gary Moll.) (TCA, ) (Entered: 08/18/2006)

Aug. 17, 2006
145

ORDER granting 144 Motion for Clarification and Incorporated Memorandum. In an effort to clarify its prior ruling, the Court finds that evidence of dft's net worth is potentially relevant to the amount of punitive damages in this case and as a result, such evidence is admissible. Once the Court determines there is sufficient evidence to submit the issue of punitive damages to the jury, such evidence will be admitted subject to a limiting instruction. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 1/15/2009. (LAD)

Jan. 15, 2009 RECAP
17

RULE 16 SCHEDULING ORDER: Discovery due by 7/27/2007. Dispositive motions due by 9/14/2007. Final Pretrial Conference set for 10/3/2007 04:00 PM before Judge Stephen M McNamee. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 8/17/06. (LCF) (Entered: 08/22/2006)

Aug. 22, 2006
147

ORDER granting 146 Joint Motion (1) for Ruling on Deposition Designation Objections without Video; or (2) For Leave To Submit Videos In Unedited Form. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 2/4/09.(REW, )

Feb. 5, 2009 RECAP
18

Notice re Service of First Request for Production of Documents by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Kruse, Katherine) (Entered: 08/28/2006)

Aug. 28, 2006
149

ORDER DENYING the Motion for Withdrawal of Co-Counsel Katherine K. Kruse 148 without prejudice with leave to refile. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 3/4/09.(KMG)

March 5, 2009 RECAP
151

ORDER - IT IS ORDERED GRANTING the 150 Motion to Withdraw Counsel for Plaintiff EEOC. FURTHER ORDERED that attorney Katherine K. Kruse is withdrawn as counsel in the present case. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 3/9/09.(SAT)

March 9, 2009 RECAP
19

Notice re Service of Defendant's Responses to EEOC's First Request for Production of Documents by Autozone, Inc. (Risey, Suzanne) (Entered: 09/27/2006)

Sept. 27, 2006
20

Notice re Service of Defendant's Supplemental Responses to EEOC's First Request for Production of Documents by Autozone, Inc. (Risey, Suzanne) (Entered: 10/11/2006)

Oct. 11, 2006
155

ORDER - IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that by Friday, 5/1/09, the parties shall submit a stipulation regarding the lost records to the Court, or alternatively, designate one witness to testify regarding Dft's record keeping and retention policies. FURTHE R ORDERED that should Pla wish to use additional witnesses' testimony in objection, Pla must provide the Court with the reasons why such testimony is necessary and how it differs from the testimony of the witness designated by the parties by Friday, 5/1/09. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 4/8/09. (SAT)

April 8, 2009 RECAP
21

Notice re Service of Defendant's First Interrogatories and First Request for Production of Documents to Plaintiff by Autozone, Inc. (Risey, Suzanne) (Entered: 10/20/2006)

Oct. 20, 2006
191

ORDER re 173 At the Final Pre-Trial Conference held on May 26, 2009, the Court agreed to address and rule on the parties' objections to the designated testimony of Howard Brown prior to trial. Mr. Brown will appear via videotape deposition and the advance ruling will allow the parties to edit the videotape of the deposition. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 5/28/09. (Note: See Order for full details)(KMG)

May 29, 2009 RECAP
258

ORDER granting in part and denying in part 232 Motion to Amend Judgment to Add Equitable Relief. (See Order for Details). Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 11/9/2009.(TCA, )

Nov. 9, 2009 RECAP
22

Notice re Service of Responses to Defendant's First Discovery Requests by Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Kruse, Katherine) (Entered: 12/22/2006)

Dec. 22, 2006
262

ORDER that Plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission may file a response to Defendants motion for reconsideration by December 18,2009. IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that Defendant has until December 31, 2009 to file a reply to Plaintiffs response, if it so desires. Signed by Judge Stephen M McNamee on 12/4/2009. (TCA, )

Dec. 7, 2009 RECAP

State / Territory: Arizona

Case Type(s):

Equal Employment

Special Collection(s):

EEOC Study — in sample

Key Dates

Filing Date: March 30, 2006

Closing Date: 2012

Case Ongoing: No

Plaintiffs

Plaintiff Description:

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, on behalf of one or more workers.

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

Autozone, Inc. (Phoenix, Arizona), Private Entity/Person

Autozone, Inc., Private Entity/Person

Case Details

Causes of Action:

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

Availably Documents:

Trial Court Docket

Complaint (any)

Monetary Relief

Injunctive (or Injunctive-like) Relief

Non-settlement Outcome

Any published opinion

Outcome

Prevailing Party: Plaintiff

Nature of Relief:

Injunction / Injunctive-like Settlement

Damages

Source of Relief:

Litigation

Amount Defendant Pays: $65,000

Content of Injunction:

Post/Distribute Notice of Rights / EE Law

Training

Issues

General:

Disparate Treatment

Record-keeping

Retaliation

Discrimination-area:

Harassment / Hostile Work Environment

Discrimination-basis:

Sex discrimination

Affected Gender:

Female

EEOC-centric:

Direct Suit on Merits