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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. ABL Management, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Florida, Panama City Division

April 9, 2017

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Plaintiff,
v.
ABL MANAGEMENT, INC., Defendant

          ON BEHALF OF PLAINTIFF EEOC: MARSHA L. RUCKER Regional Attorney, GERALD MILLER Supervisory Trial Attorney, MANEESH VARMA Senior Trial Attorney, KURT S. FISCHER Trial Attorney, EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION

          ON BEHALF OF DEFENDANT ABL Management, Inc. Authorized Representative ABL Management, Inc.

          Robert L. Hinkle United States District Judge

         CONSENT DECREE

         The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“Commission or Plaintiff”) filed the above-captioned lawsuit against ABL Management, Inc. (“Defendant”) (collectively, the “Parties”) on June 30, 2016, in this Court, pursuant to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, 42 U.S.C. §2000e et seq. (“Title VII”) and the Civil Rights Act of 1991, 42 U.S.C. §1981a. In the Complaint, the Commission alleged that Defendant violated Title VII when it retaliated against Duane Gatson (“Gatson”) for opposing what he allegedly believed to be sexual harassment.

         Nothing stated in this Consent Decree constitutes, nor shall be implied, interpreted as, or provide evidence of an admission of liability or wrongdoing on the part of Defendant, nor shall it be construed as such.

         The Parties do not object to the jurisdiction of this Court over this action and waive their rights to a hearing and the entry of findings of fact and conclusions of law. Venue is proper in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida, (Panama City Division). The Parties agree that this Consent Decree is fair, reasonable, and does not violate the law or public policy. The Title VII rights of the Parties are protected adequately by this Consent Decree.

         In the interest of resolving this matter, and to avoid the expense of further litigation, the Parties have agreed that this action should be resolved by entry of this Consent Decree.

         It is ORDERED, ADJUDGED AND DECREED:

         1. This Consent Decree resolves all claims arising out of the issues between the Parties in this lawsuit including, without limitation, back pay, compensatory and punitive damages, injunctive relief, and costs with interest. This Consent Decree, including Exhibit A, is limited in its scope to matters covered explicitly herein, and comprises and constitutes the entirety of the terms and conditions of the resolution agreement between the Parties.

         2. Defendant and its officers, agents, employees, successors, and assigns, both at the time that this Consent Decree becomes effective and for the duration of this Consent Decree, shall comply with Title VII's prohibition against discrimination based on sex and retaliation.

         3. Defendant shall not retaliate against any employee because he or she: (i) opposes or opposed discriminatory practices made unlawful by Title VII; (ii) files or filed a charge of discrimination with the Commission or any state agency that enforces employment-related anti-discrimination laws, or assists, assisted, participates, or participated in the filing of a charge of discrimination with the Commission or any state agency that enforces employment-related antidiscrimination laws; or (iii) assists, assisted, participates or participated in an investigation or proceeding conducted by the Commission or any state agency that enforces employment-related anti-discrimination laws.

         4. Defendant shall enforce in its workplace, without limitation, the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII.

         5. This Consent Decree shall become effective at that time it is entered by the Court, and shall be in effect for thirty-six (36) months from the date of its entry by the Court. This Consent Decree and its terms herein shall apply to Defendant's supervisors, managers, and employees at its operations, and at its facilities and locations (including the facilities of clients where ABL employees work), in the State of Florida.

         MONETARY RELIEF

         6. Defendant shall pay the total amount of thirty-five thousand dollars and zero cents ($35, 000.00) to Gatson for alleged back pay, compensatory damages and punitive damages.

         7. Defendant's payment shall be issued by a corporate-issued check payable to Gatson. The corporate-issued check shall be mailed directly to Gatson, by certified mail, within 21 business days from the date of the entry of this Consent Decree.

         8. At the same time that Defendant mails the certified check to Gatson, Defendant shall also mail a copy of the check to the attention of Plaintiff's Regional Attorney, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Birmingham District Office, Ridge Park Place, 1130 22nd Street South, Suite 2000, Birmingham, AL 35205. Defendant will issue applicable United States Internal Revenue Service Forms to Gatson for all such payments by the end of calendar year 2017.

         9. Gatson's receipt of payment pursuant to this Consent Decree shall not be conditioned on his agreement to (a) maintain as confidential the terms of this Consent Decree, or (b) waive his statutory rights to file a charge of discrimination unrelated to the claims and allegations underlying this Complaint with the Plaintiff or any state or federal agency that enforces employment-related anti-discrimination laws.

         PERSONNEL ...


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