Federal Judge Also Imposes Sanction for Company’s Unresponsive Conduct in Sex Discrimination Case
JONESBORO, Ark. – A federal judge has ordered an Osceola, Ark., nursing home company to comply with a subpoena issued by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in the agency’s subpoena enforcement action against the company, the EEOC announced today. The judge also ordered sanctions against the company for failing to comply with the subpoena.
After an evidentiary hearing held March 9, U.S. District Judge D.P. Marshall ordered that Osceola Nursing Home, LLP, the former owner of nursing home facilities in eastern Arkansas, pay a sanction of $2,500 to the EEOC and make a good-faith effort to locate documents responsive to the subpoena by reviewing all files left at the nursing home facility, including those housed in an off-site storage facility. Judge Marshall ordered Osceola Nursing Home to certify compliance within 30 days. The judge ruled that Osceola Nursing Home’s unresponsive conduct warranted sanctions under “the Court’s inherent authority to protect and promote respect for the judicial and administrative processes.”
The subpoena enforcement action filed by the EEOC’s Memphis District Office in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas, Jonesboro Division, entitled EEOC v. Osceola Nursing Home LLP d/b/a Osceola Healthcare, No. 3:10-mc-00004-DPM, asserted that Osceola
Nursing Home refused to provide information and/or documents responsive to the EEOC’s investigation of sex discrimination and retaliation charges filed by four former employees of Osceola Nursing Home.
“Osceola Nursing LLP represented to us on numerous occasions that it would produce the information and failed to do so,” said EEOC Memphis District Director Katharine W. Kores. “The EEOC issued a subpoena so that we could obtain the information we need to complete our investigation of the discrimination charges. When that failed, we sought relief from the court, as provided by federal law.”
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 gives the EEOC the authority to issue administrative subpoenas during the administrative investigation of charges of discrimination. When companies fail to comply with an administrative subpoena, Title VII also provides the EEOC the authority to seek enforcement of the subpoena in federal court.
EEOC Regional Attorney Faye A. Williams in Memphis said, “We will continue to use the subpoena enforcement authority afforded to EEOC by Title VII, when necessary, to complete our investigations of alleged unlawful conduct in workplaces.”
Acting Supervisory Trial Attorney Celia Liner and Trial Attorney Matthew McCoy represented the EEOC at the evidentiary hearing before Judge Marshall.
The EEOC’s Memphis District Office has jurisdiction over Tennessee, Arkansas, and portions of Mississippi, with Area Offices in Nashville and Little Rock.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.