On June 5th of this year we discussed the case of a group of Hawaiian farms and a labor contractor sued by the EEOC for allegedly harassing and mistreating Thai farmworkers.
On June 9th we published a post entitled “EEOC Touts Settlement — Court Says ‘Not So Fast.’” Apparently our first post about the settlement was premature because the EEOC had jumped the gun in announcing the settlement and was dealt a blow by the Court, which denied the EEOC’s consent decrees — at least temporarily, apparently because the EEOC failed to comply with the Court’s procedural rules and oral instructions given to its counsel.
Court Blasts EEOC
And last week the Court issued a blistering decision in which it held that “The EEOC’s filing of the Consent Decrees with the unsigned orders on June 3, 2014 violated both Local Rule 100.9.1 and this Court’s oral instructions to counsel’s staff member. … apparently so that EEOC officials could announce, during a previously scheduled press conference, that consent decrees had been “filed” in this case.” Read the Order here.
Among other things, the Court held that: “To redress the EEOC’s premature press announcement, the Court ordered that ‘it will not consider [the EEOC’s] request to approve the four Consent Decrees unless the EEOC holds a press conference retracting its statements at the June press conference regarding the improperly filed Consent Decrees.’”
EEOC Press Release: Call-In EEOC Press Conference Today
The EEOC issued a press release yesterday: “The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) is correcting the previously issued press release dated June 3, 2014 regarding settlements in EEOC suits involving four farms in Hawaii, and will do so at a press conference to be held Friday. …
Today’s announcement and subsequent press conference are intended to retract any misstatement regarding the finality of the consent decrees. At present, the four proposed consent decrees have not been approved by the court and are still pending approval. … A press conference regarding the above matter will be held on Friday, August 29, 2014, at 3:00 p.m. HAST at 300 Ala Moana Blvd, Room 8-140, in Honolulu, Hawaii. The dial-in number to join the press conference via telephone for media representatives in the U.S. (outside the Honolulu area) is 1-866-619-5058. The passcode is 4449658.”