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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Aaron Rents

December 29, 2009

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF, AND ASHLEY ALFORD, PLAINTIFF-INTERVENOR,
v.
AARON RENTS, INC. D/B/A AARON SALES AND LEASE OWNERSHIP, RICHARD MOORE, AND BRAD MARTIN, DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Reagan, District Judge

CONSENT DECREE

Introduction

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") instituted this action alleging that Aaron Rents, Inc. d/b/a Aaron Sales and Lease Ownership ("Aaron"), subjected Ashley Alford ("Alford") to sexual harassment by her General Manager, Richard Moore, while she was employed at its Fairview Heights store, in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and Title I of the Civil Rights Act of 1991 ("Title VII"). Alford intervened in the lawsuit, adding Richard Moore and his supervisor, Brad Martin, as individual defendants, alleging that Aaron retaliated against Alford in violation of Title VII, and raising several state tort claims.

For purposes of settlement and compromise only, and with no admission of liability by Defendant Aaron Rents, Inc., Aaron and the EEOC have advised the Court that they wish to resolve the instant controversy between themwithout the expense, delay, and burden of further litigation;

THEREFORE, it is the finding of this Court, made on the pleadings and on the record as a whole and upon agreement of the parties, that: (a) this Court has jurisdiction over the parties to and the subject matter of this action; (b) the requirements of Title VII will be carried out by the implementation of this Decree (c) this Decree is intended to and does resolve all matters in controversy between the EEOC and Aaron in this lawsuit; and (d) the terms of this Decree constitute a fair and equitable settlement of all issues between the EEOC and Aaron in this lawsuit.

Accordingly, the Court ORDERS as follows:

I. General Provisions

1. Aaron shall not discriminate against any employee by subjecting an employee to sexual harassment at any site of business owned and/or operated by Aaron in the St. Louis Region as it exists on January 1, 2010.

2. Aaron shall not discriminate or retaliate against any person because he or she: (a) has opposed any practices alleged in this lawsuit as unlawful under Title VII, (b) has participated in any investigation conducted under Title VII connected with or leading up to this lawsuit; (c) has participated in this lawsuit; or (d) has benefitted or will benefit in any way as a result of this Consent Decree.

II. Policies, Training & Reporting

3. Within120 days of the Court's entry of the Consent Decree, Aaron shall cause all of its general managers employed in the St. Louis Region as it exists on January 1, 2010, to attend three hours of employment discrimination training including, but not limited to, training on sexual harassment. As part of this training, each manager shall be instructed that he or she must fully comply with Aaron's employment non-discrimination policy and must promptly report to its Vice-President Employee Relations any and all complaints alleging employment discrimination, and that failure to do so will result in discipline up to and including termination. This training shall emphasize that any and all conduct that may constitute employment discrimination or retaliation shall be grounds for immediate discipline, including demotion and termination, and that each manager who violates his or her obligations under the policy may be subject to immediate discipline, including demotion and/or termination.

4. Within 60 days of the Court's entry of the Consent Decree, an outline and description of the training and the training materials shall be provided to Jan Shelly, Senior Trial Attorney, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, St. Louis District Office, Room 8.100, 1222 Spruce St., St. Louis, MO 63103.

5. Within 120 days of the date of hire or promotion, Aaron shall cause each newly hired or newly promoted general managerin the St. Louis Region as it exists on January 1, 2010, to view a videotape of the three hours of employment discrimination training referenced in paragraph 3.

6. Within 120 days of the Court's entry of the Consent Decree, Aaron will add a new employee to the Employee Relations Department who will also be responsible for handling calls from the hotline referenced in its non-discrimination policy. During the hours of 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., calls placed to this hotline will be answered live by an employee of the Employee Relations Department as ...


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