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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Crain Automotive Holdings LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Arkansas, Western Division

April 26, 2019

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION PLAINTIFF,
v.
CRAIN AUTOMOTIVE HOLDINGS, LLC d/b/a CRAIN AUTOMOTIVE DEFENDANT.

          Counsel for Plaintiff JAMES L. LEE Acting General Counsel GWENDOLYN YOUNG REAMS Associate General Counsel FAYE A. WILLIAMS Regional Attorney, JASON P. BAILEY, Trial Attorney EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION PAMELA B. DIXON Senior Trial Attorney, EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

          Counsel for Defendant BAILEY KNAPP NIKI CUNG KUTAK ROCK, LLP NIKI CUNG

          CONSENT DECREE

          J. LEON HOLMES, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         INTRODUCTION

         Plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (Commission) and Defendant Crain Automotive Holdings, LLC d/b/a Crain Automotive (Crain) reached an agreement to resolve this case following settlement negotiations. The Parties jointly submit this Consent Decree (Decree) for the Court's approval and entry to resolve the claims of disability discrimination alleged in the Commission's Complaint.

         The Commission, an agency of the United States of America, enforces federal laws prohibiting discrimination in the workplace. Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), as amended by the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 (ADA) represent two of the federal laws enforced by the Commission.

         The Commission instituted this action on behalf of Judith Vaughan. The Commission alleged in its Complaint that Defendant failed to accommodate Vaughan and then terminated her employment, all in violation of the ADA.

         Crain denies the allegations in the Commission's Complaint that it engaged in any unlawful employment practices in violation of the ADA. This Decree does not constitute a finding on the merits of the case and does not constitute an admission by Crain of the allegations in the Complaint. The Commission and Crain have consented to entry of this Decree to avoid the additional expense and other burdens that continued litigation of this case would involve.

         This Decree constitutes the complete and exclusive agreement of the Parties with respect to the matters referred to herein. No. waiver, modification, or amendment of any provision of this Decree shall be effective unless made in writing and signed by all Parties. The Parties have made no representations or inducements to compromise this action other than those recited or referenced in this Decree. The Commission and Crain stipulate the terms and conditions of this Decree serve to effectuate the purposes of the ADA.

         FINDINGS

         This Court has jurisdiction over the subject matter of this action and the Parties. After a careful examination of the Decree, the pleadings, and the record, this Court finds the terms of this Decree are adequate, fair, reasonable, equitable, and just. The terms of the Decree also serve the public interest in eradicating discrimination based on disability. The Decree furthers the objectives of the ADA and adequately protects the rights of the Commission, Crain, and the public interest.

         If the Court does not approve this Decree, the Parties agree not to admit the Decree into evidence in any subsequent proceeding in this lawsuit.

         It is hereby ORDERED, ADJUDGED, AND DECREED:

         SCOPE AND DURATION OF DECREE

         This Decree resolves all issues and claims arising out of the Commission's Complaint which arose from Charge No. 493-2017-00657 filed by Judith Vaughan. This Decree does not impact any pending charges, if any, that may currently exist before the Commission in the United States. Further, this Decree does not affect the Commission's right to process any other pending or future charges that any employee may file against Crain and to commence civil actions on any such charges.

         The Parties agree the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Western Division, has jurisdiction over the Commission and Crain and the subject matter of this litigation for the duration of the Decree. Neither the Commission nor Crain shall contest the jurisdiction of this Court to enforce this Decree or the rights of the Commission to monitor Crain's compliance with the Decree and to bring an enforcement action in the event Crain fails to comply with the terms of the Decree. Upon the date the Court enters the Decree, the provisions of this Decree become immediately effective and binding upon the Parties to this lawsuit for 18 months after the entry date of this Decree.

         INJUNCTIVE RELIEF

         Crain, its officers, agents, servants, managers, employees, and all persons in active concert shall not discriminate against employees with disabilities. Crain shall not terminate any employee because of his or her disability. Further, Crain shall enter into the interactive process with any employee who requests an accommodation to determine if the accommodation is reasonable and if Crain can accommodate the employee without undue hardship to Crain. Crain shall not retaliate against any employee for participating in any proceeding under the ADA.

         NOTICE POSTING

         Within 10 days of the entry of this Decree, Crain will post Attachment A for 6 months at Crain's corporate location and at all of its dealerships in Arkansas in a conspicuous place that Crain customarily posts notices to employees. Crain will ...


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