Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Inc. et al
Chief Judge Patti B. Saris: MEMORANDUM and ORDER entered. After hearing, ACF's partial motion to dismiss (Docket No. 10 ) is DENIED. BJ's motion to dismiss (Docket No. 14 ) is DENIED. SO ORDERED. (Geraldino-Karasek, Clarilde)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS
EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY
ATLANTIC CAPES FISHERIES, INC.
and BJ’S SERVICE CO., INC.,
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
January 11, 2018
Plaintiff Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”)
filed this complaint against Defendants Atlantic Capes
Fisheries, Inc. (“ACF”) and BJ’s Service Co., Inc. (“BJ’s”) on
behalf of three identified individuals and a class of “similarly
aggrieved female workers.” Plaintiff alleges sexual harassment,
sex discrimination, and retaliation. According to the complaint,
the parties participated in informal conciliation efforts before
Plaintiff filed the present suit. Defendants have moved to
dismiss or stay the case on the ground that the EEOC failed to
meet its pre-suit conciliation obligations because it did not
identify the specific individuals comprising the alleged class.
In Mach Mining LLC v. EEOC, 135 S. Ct. 1645 (2015), the
Supreme Court held that this Court may review whether the EEOC
satisfied its pre-suit statutory obligation to attempt
conciliation, but that the scope of review is “narrow.” Id. at
1656. There is no evidence in this barebones record that the
conciliation efforts were insufficient. Defendants have
submitted no affidavits with respect to the alleged deficiencies
in the conciliation efforts. At the hearing, counsel agreed that
there were pre-suit conciliation discussions and that the EEOC
identified the two alleged sexual harassers and the location of
the workplace where the sexual harassment of the class occurred.
The EEOC is not required to identify each aggrieved individual
in a class in the pre-suit conciliation proceedings. See Arizona
ex rel. Horne v. Geo. Grp., Inc., 816 F.3d 1189, 1200 (9th Cir.
2016) (rejecting the argument that the EEOC must identify and
conciliate on behalf of each individual aggrieved employee
during the investigation process prior to filing suit seeking
recovery on behalf of a class). Indeed, in light of the
allegation that the named individuals who complained were fired
(and then rehired), and the claim of retaliation, the EEOC was
reasonable in not releasing the identities of other class
members who say they were harassed.
After hearing, ACF’s partial motion to dismiss (Docket No.
10) is DENIED. BJ’s motion to dismiss (Docket No. 14) is DENIED.
/s/ PATTI B. SARIS
Patti B. Saris
Chief United States District Judge
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