A Michigan federal judge has slammed the EEOC for its
"reckless sue first, ask questions later strategy." After 11 years of
litigation, the court awarded the EEOC's target, Cintas Corporation,
$2,638,443.93 in attorneys' fees, costs, and expenses from the agency.
The court justified its astronomical award based on the
EEOC's failure to investigate before filing suit, and dilatory tactics before
and after filing suit:
During the course of its involvement in this case, the
EEOC filed, and lost, over a dozen motions. Furthermore, Cintas was forced to
file a number of motions because of the EEOC's failure to properly respond to
Cintas' discovery requests. Cintas succeeded on all of these motions, and the
EEOC's conduct served only to prolong this decade-long litigation.... In his
March 2, 2010 Order Granting Motion to Compel, Magistrate Judge Scheer stated,
"There appears to be no purpose for [the EEOC's] position [to withhold the
questionnaires] other than to increase the difficulty and expense of the
defense of this action by Cintas."
Employers, if you've ever been sued by the EEOC, you know
it is never fun to be in its crosshairs. Unlike you, the agency does not pay
lawyers to litigate for it, and has seemingly unlimited resources to make your
lives a living hell. Take heart, though, that there are judges who will hold
the EEOC's feet to the litigation fire. As this case illustrates, it is
possible to beat the EEOC at its own game. But, it's going to take
A copy of the Court's 31-page opinion is available here.
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