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Kamberos v. GTE Automatic Electric Inc.

decided: July 16, 1979.

CONSTANCE KAMBEROS, PLAINTIFF-APPELLEE,
v.
GTE AUTOMATIC ELECTRIC, INC., DEFENDANT-APPELLANT.



Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Eastern Division. No. 74-C-151 -- Prentice H. Marshall, Judge.

Before Swygert, Pell and Bauer, Circuit Judges.

Author: Swygert

This is a suit for damages and injunctive relief brought under the provisions of the Equal Opportunity and Employment Act, 42 U.S.C. ยงยง 2000e Et seq. Plaintiff Constance Kamberos alleged that defendant GTE Automatic Electric, Inc. ("GTE") had engaged in discriminatory hiring practices based on sex. After a bench trial, the district court found against defendant on the issue of liability. Plaintiff was granted relief:

(1) Defendant was ordered to pay plaintiff $119,117.20 in backpay covering the period from March 3, 1969 to July 31, 1978.

(2) Defendant was mandatorily enjoined to employ plaintiff as a corporate attorney when the first vacancy occurs in that position.

(3) Defendant was ordered to pay plaintiff $16,000.00 per annum front pay until defendant offers plaintiff a position as corporate attorney.

(4) Defendant was ordered to pay $26,015.00 in attorney fees.

Kamberos v. GTE Automatic Elec., Inc., No. 74 C 151 (N.D.Ill. Aug. 10, 1978).

The defendant appeals from the finding of liability, the appropriateness and computation of the backpay award, the hiring injunction, and the amount of attorney's fees awarded. We affirm the district court's finding of liability, but reverse on the appropriateness of the hiring injunction and the computation of the awards of backpay and attorney's fees.

This controversy began over ten years ago in March 1969. At that time Kamberos, a graduate of the DePaul University Law School in Chicago, was unemployed and registered with the Illinois State Employment Service. GTE was seeking a corporate attorney to fill a position opened by a resignation in June 1968. In August 1968 William McGuire, vice-president of GTE's operation in Northlake, wrote to the deans of the law schools at DePaul, Northwestern and Loyola Universities, and the placement service of the Chicago Bar Association. McGuire's letter indicated that GTE was seeking an associate general attorney:

We would require a man with a real interest in this kind of work and a record of excellent scholarship, with qualities of initiative and imagination, to work in a broad field of corporate legal activity, except trial work. While we would like to have a man who has two or three years actual experience, either in a law firm or corporation, we would consider candidates with less or more qualifications than these.

I can assure you that this is a challenging and worthwhile opportunity for the right man. (Plaintiff's Exhibit 35.)

When efforts to find the "right man" did not produce a candidate, GTE advertised in the Wall Street Journal on March 3, 1969. The advertisement read in pertinent part:

Automatic Electric Company, the largest manufacturer and supplier in the United States of telephone equipment for the independent telephone industry, has an exceptional opportunity in its law department ...


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