ERIC H. HOLDER, JR., Attorney General of the United States
THOMAS E. PEREZ, Assistant Attorney General,
Civil Rights Division
SAMUEL R. BAGENSTOS, Principal Deputy Assistant
Attorney General, Civil Rights Division
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
PHILIP L. BREEN, Special Legal Counsel
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Deputy Chief
ALYSE S. BASS
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE
Trial Attorneys
Disability Rights Section
United States Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. - NYA
Washington D.C. 20035

JONATHAN TURNER
SHIVA DAVOUDIAN
Epstein, Turner & Song
777 S. Figueroa Street, Suite 4950
Los Angeles, CA 90017

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

UNITED STATES OF AMERICA,

Plaintiff,

v.

COUNTY OF VENTURA, CALIFORNIA,

Defendant.

 

)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
CV09-06413-MMM(CWx)

 

 

CONSENT DECREE

I. Introduction

This Consent Decree resolves a civil action brought by Plaintiff United States against Defendant County of Ventura, California (“County”) to enforce the provisions of title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (“ADA”), 42 U.S.C. §§ 12111, et seq., and its implementing regulations, 29 C.F.R. Part 1630. The United States alleges that the County discriminated against Lee Anne Unchangco, in violation of 42 U.S.C. §§ 12112(a) and (b)(5), and 29 C.F.R. § 1630.9, by denying employment to Ms. Unchangco for the position of Children Social Service Worker III (“CSSW III”) on the basis that Ms. Unchangco is deaf and required reasonable accommodations.

This matter was initiated by the charge filed by Ms. Unchangco (Charge Number 340-2006-00459) with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (“EEOC”). The EEOC investigated the charge and found reasonable cause to believe that the allegations of discrimination on the basis of disability were true. After the EEOC’s attempts at conciliation failed, the EEOC referred the charge to the United States Department of Justice. The County filed an Answer denying all ADA allegations in the United States’ Complaint.

As a result of ongoing discussion, the United States and the County (collectively, “the parties”) have reached agreement that it is in the parties’ best interests, and the United States believes that it is in the public interest, to resolve this lawsuit on mutually agreeable terms without further litigation. Accordingly, the parties agree to the entry of this Consent Decree without trial or adjudication of any issues of fact or law raised in the United States’ Complaint.

Accordingly, the parties hereby AGREE and the Court expressly APPROVES, ENTERS AND ORDERS THE FOLLOWING:

II. Jurisdiction and Venue

1. This Court has jurisdiction over this action pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-2 and 28 U.S.C. § 1345. The parties agree that venue is appropriate pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1391.

2. The United States has authority to initiate legal proceedings to enforce title I of the ADA through litigation. 42 U.S.C. § 12117.

3. The County is a body corporate and politic created under the laws of the State of California.

4. The County is a person within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(7) and 42 U.S.C. § 2000e(a), an employer within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(5), and a covered entity within the meaning of 42 U.S.C. § 12111(2).

III. Injunctive Relief

5. The County, by and through its officials, agents, employees, and all persons in active concert or participation with the County in the performance of employment or personnel functions, shall not engage in any act or practice that discriminates against any employee or applicant for employment on the basis of disability in violation of title I of the ADA. The County acknowledges that hiring a qualified sign language interpreter for a qualified applicant or employee with a disability may – on a case by case basis – be a reasonable accommodation under the ADA.

6. The County will provide training on title I of the ADA, including the duty to make reasonable accommodations, (i) to all current Human Service Agency supervisory employees and all County Human Resource supervisory employees who participate in making personnel decisions, including, but not limited to, hiring or promoting employees (collectively, “supervisors”), within ninety (90) days of the entry of this Consent Decree; and (ii) to all new supervisors, whether by hire or promotion, as limited in subsection (i), after the entry of this Consent Decree within thirty (30) days of the start of their employment with the County.

IV. Individual Relief

7. The County will pay Ms. Unchangco $45,000.00 in compensatory damages.

8. The County shall pay to Ms. Unchangco the full amount of the total monetary award specified in paragraph 7 within twenty-one (21) days of its receipt of a Release of Claims form signed by Ms. Unchangco.

V. Enforcement

9. The United States may review compliance with this Consent Decree at any time and may enforce this Consent Decree if the United States believes that the Decree or any requirement thereof has been violated. If the United States believes that this Consent Decree or any portion of it has been violated, it will raise its concerns with the County and the parties will attempt to resolve the concerns in good faith. The United States will give the County thirty (30) days to cure the violation prior to instituting any court action, starting from the date that the United States notifies the County of any violation of this Consent Decree.

10. Failure by the United States to enforce any provision of this Consent Decree shall not be construed as a waiver of the United States’ right to enforce other provisions of this Consent Decree.

11. This Consent Decree does not purport to remedy any other potential violations of the ADA or any other law that is not specifically addressed herein, nor does it affect the County’s continuing responsibility to comply with all aspects of the ADA.

12. This Consent Decree shall remain in effect for three years from the effective date. The Court shall retain jurisdiction to enforce this Consent Decree. This Consent Decree will expire three years from the effective date.

13. The effective date of this Consent Decree is the date on which the Court enters this Consent Decree.

14. This Consent Decree, and the Release of All Claims Form, constitute the entire agreement between the parties relating to United States v. County of Ventura, California, Civ. No. CV09-6413 MMM; Department of Justice Number 205-12C-32; and EEOC Charge No. 340-2006-00459. No other statement, promise, or agreement, either written or oral, made by any party or agents of any party, that is not contained in this written Consent Decree shall be enforceable.

15. This Consent Decree shall be binding on the County, its agents and employees.

16. The individuals signing this Consent Decree represent that they are authorized to bind the parties to this Consent Decree.

 

DATED this __16th_____ day of ___July_________, 2010.

 

BY THE COURT:

___________________________________
HON. MARGARET M. MORROW
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA

 

Respectfully submitted this 6th day of July, 2010.

 

DATE: ____July 6, 2010____

Agreed and consented to:

FOR THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA:

 

ERIC H. HOLDER, JR.
Attorney General of the United States
THOMAS E. PEREZ, Assistant Attorney General
Civil Rights Division
SAMUEL R. BAGENSTOS, Principal Deputy Assistant
Attorney General
Civil Rights Division

JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
PHILIP L. BREEN, Special Legal Counsel
ALLISON J. NICHOL, Deputy Chief
ALYSE S. BASS, Senior Trial Attorney
KATHLEEN P. WOLFE, Trial Attorney
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue NW - NYA
Washington, D.C. 20530
Telephone: (202) 353-0368
Facsimile: (202) 305-9775

 

DATE: _____July 2, 2010___

FOR THE COUNTY OF VENTURA, CALIFORNIA:

 

______________________________________
JACALYN L. COHEN
Claims Manager, Risk Management
County of Ventura

Cases & Matters by ADA Title Coverage | Legal Documents by Type & Date | ADA Home Page

July 16, 2010