Employment-EEOC Wins (Rare) Summary Judgment Verdict in Title VII Retaliation Case

According to a Press Release, dated 5/29/12, the EEOC has won a rare summary judgment verdict in a Title VII retaliation case. The Press Release said the following.

Chief U.S. District Judge Michael P. McCuskey of U.S. District Court for the Central District of Illinois, in an opinion issued May 23, has ruled that-as a matter of law- Cognis Corporation, a German-based part of multinational chemical company BASF, unlawfully retaliated against an employee for refusing to waive his rights to file a discrimination charge. This violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The court said that Cognis fired Steven Whitlow after he revoked his willingness to be bound by a “last-chance” employment agreement because it would have stripped him of his rights to seek relief for discrimination or to file a charge with the EEOC.

After the summary judgment verdict, the only issue remaining for trial, as to Whitlow, is the amount of damages due Whitlow from Cognis. Certain other issues, pertaining to the class of remaining employees of Cognis who signed last-chance agreements, will also proceed to trial.