United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle
ROBERTA L. STEELE Regional Attorney, JOHN F.STANLEY
Supervisory Trial Attorney DAMIENA.LEE Senior Trial Attorney
TERIL.HEALY Senior Trial; Attorney Attorneys for Plaintiff
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Michael J. Puma (admitted pro hac vice) Eric C. Kim (admitted
pro hac vice) MORGAN, LEWIS & BOCKIUS LLP Sheryl J.
Willert WILLIAMS KASTNER Attorneys for The Hershey Company
S. LASNIK, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
action originated when Kristina Williams ("Ms.
Williams") filed a charge of discrimination dated
October 8, 2015 with the Equal Employment Opportunity
Commission ("EEOC" or "Commission"). Ms.
Williams alleged that The Hershey Company
("Defendant" or "Hershey") discriminated
against her when it denied her a reasonable accommodation of
her disability for her part-time Retail Sales Merchandiser
("RSM") position in May 2015, did not allow her to
return to work, and then discharged her on August
May 11, 2017, the EEOC issued a Letter of Determination with
a finding of reasonable cause to believe that Defendant
violated the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as
amended (ADA), when it did not accommodate Ms. Williams
starting on May 19, 2015, and when Defendant discharged her
on August 19, 2015. Thereafter, EEOC attempted to conciliate
the charge. However, conciliation was unsuccessful.
Commission filed its Complaint on July 19, 2017, in the
United States District Court for the Western District of
Washington. The Complaint alleges that Defendant
discriminated against Ms. Williams, a qualified individual
with a physical disability, when it: (a) denied her a
reasonable accommodation of her disability (herniated L4/L5
lumbar discs) by not providing an adjustment of her break
time or work modification for her part-time Retail Sales
Merchandiser position during the period May 20, 2015 to
August 19, 2015 ("reasonable accommodation"); and
(b) terminated her from her part-time RSM job on August 19,
2015. The EEOC sought monetary and non-monetary relief for
Defendant does not admit that it has violated any federal,
state or local law, and this Consent Decree shall not be
deemed an admission or adjudication of liability. However, in
acknowledgement of the costs and risks associated with
continued litigation faced by both sides, the parties want to
conclude fully and finally all claims arising out of the
EEOC's Complaint and Ms. Williams's charge of
discrimination filed with EEOC. The EEOC and Hershey enter
into this Consent Decree to further the objectives of equal
employment opportunity in the ADA.
Consent Decree is the final and complete resolution of all
allegations of unlawful employment practices contained in Ms.
Williams's discrimination charge, in the EEOC's
administrative determination, and in the EEOC's Complaint
filed herein, including all claims by the EEOC and Hershey
for attorney fees and costs.
waiver, modification or amendment of any provision of this
Consent Decree shall be effective unless made in writing and
approved by the Parties to this Decree, and any substantive
change, modification or amendment of any provision of this
Consent Decree shall also require approval by the Court.
settlement of this lawsuit, Hershey agrees to pay Ms.
Williams the total amount of $25, 000.00 within ten (10)
business days of the date of entry of this Consent Decree by
delivering the following to Ms. Williams's home address
by certified mail with proof of delivery:
a. A check in the amount of $4, 205.00 which constitutes back
pay for Ms. Williams. The check shall be reduced by any
applicable deductions for the employee's portion of FICA
and applicable federal and applicable state income tax
withholdings related to the payment of wages. Hershey shall
pay the employer's portion of FICA. Hershey shall include
a statement of payments and deductions; and
b. A separate check in the amount of $20, 795.00 as
compensatory damages payable to Ms. Williams. Hershey will
issue Ms. Williams an IRS form 1099 for this payment.
c. Hershey shall transmit a copy of any checks made payable
to Ms. Williams, together with an accounting of employee
deductions and employer contributions made, to the EEOC at
the same time that payment is made to Ms. Williams as
described above to:
Damien A. Lee
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Seattle Field Office
909 First Avenue, Ste. ...