UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Plaintiff,
CITY OF CHICAGO, a Municipality of the State of Illinois, Defendant.
CASE NO. 99 C 1494
HON. ANN CLAIRE WILLIAMS
SETTLEMENT AGREEMENT AND GENERAL RELEASE
- This action was brought by the United States against the City of Chicago to enforce the provisions of Title I of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 ("ADA'), 42 U.S.C. ï½§ï½§ 12111 et seq., following receipt by the Department of Justice from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC") of a charge filed by XXXXX ("XXXXX"), Charge No. 210-96-13332. The Attorney General is authorized, by section 107(a) of title I, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12117(a), to institute a civil action against a state or local government employer when the EEOC has determined that there is reasonable cause to believe that a charge of employment discrimination is true, and the EEOC did not obtain a conciliation agreement. These preconditions exist as to EEOC charge No. 210-96-1332.
- The Defendant City of Chicago ("City") is an employer within the meaning of Section 101(5) of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12111(5), and a "person" within the meaning of Section 101(7) of Title I of the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12111(7) and section 701 of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 2000e(a).
- XXXXX ("XXXXX") is a City of Chicago employee who was formerly employed by the City clerk's office. XXXXX was terminated from her position with the City Clerk on April 4, 1996. XXXXX was rehired by the City of Chicago Department of Transportation in the position of Administrative Assistant II on February 9, 1999.
- The United States alleges that XXXXX is an individual with a disability as by the ADA, 42 U.S.C. ï½§ 12102(2), 29 C.F.R. Part 1630.2(g), 28 C.F.R. Part 35.104. The Defendant City denies that XXXXX is an individual with a disability as defined by the ADA and acknowledges only that XXXXX had an impairment.
- In its complaint the United States alleges, inter alia, that the City discriminated against XXXXX on the basis of disability by failing to acknowledge XXXXX's disability, by withdrawing a previously given accommodation, by terminating XXXXX or constructively discharging her when the reason that led to her termination or constructive discharge was caused by the lack of accommodation, and by failing and refusing to take appropriate action to remedy the effects of the discriminatory treatment of XXXXX. The City denies that it, or any of its officers, agents, representatives or employees, discriminated against XXXXX on any basis, failed to accommodate her or engaged in any conduct in violation of the ADA or any other law.
- The parties desire that this action be settled by appropriate Settlement Agreement and- without the burden of protracted litigation, The parties hereby waive a hearing and findings of fact and conclusions of law on all issues, and further agree that this Settlement Agreement shall be final and binding among themselves as to the issues raised in the complaint and the underlying EEOC charge No. 210-96-1332.
- This Settlement Agreement and General Release ("Settlement Agreement") constitutes the good faith settlement of all claims, and the City specifically disclaims any liability to, or unlawful conduct against XXXXX on the part of the City or any of its past or present representatives, attorneys, officers, agents and employees. The City has entered into this Settlement Agreement with the United States for the sole purpose of avoiding the burden, expense, delay and uncertainties of further litigation.
- This Settlement Agreement is not and shall not constitute or operate as an acknowledgment or admission of liability or wrongdoing of any kind whatsoever by the City, or any of its past or present agencies, departments, representatives, attorneys, officers, agents, and employees. Further, the parties agree that the settlement of these claims shall have no precedential value of any type whatsoever, shall apply only to the matters referred to herein, and neither this Settlement Agreement, nor any of the terms hereof, shall be offered or received as evidence in any court or administrative action or proceeding as an indication of wrongdoing by the City, or of the legal position of the City, or any of its officers, agents, representatives or employees.
- In exchange for and in consideration of the promises made by the City herein, the United States agrees to cause the complaint filed herein, No. 99 C 1494, based on EEOC charge No. 210-96-1332, to be dismissed with prejudice.
- In exchange for the general release executed by XXXXX, attached hereto as Appendix A, and the promises, made herein by the United States, the City agrees to do the following:
- Within thirty (30) days of the entry of the order dismissing this action, the City will award XXXXX back pay in the position of Administrative Assistant II, Grade 10, subject to the deductions outlined below, for the period from April 4, 1996 to February 9, 1999.
- The parties agree that the back-pay for this period at Grade 10 is $92,371.38. From this amount, defendant will deduct all usual and customary payroll deductions, including the employee's contribution to the Municipal Employees Annuity and Benefit Fund ('MEABF") in the amount of $7,851.57. Payroll taxes, however, will be deducted pursuant to paragraph C, below.
- After the payroll deduction for XXXXX, pension contribution as described in paragraph B is made, the City also will deduct $27,371.38 as mitigation resulting from XXXXX non-City employment during the period described in paragraph A. From the remaining amount of $57,148.43, the City will deduct withholding for state and federal income tax in the amount of $17,716.01. The resulting amount of $39,432.42 will be paid to XXXXX as net back pay. The net pay amount of $39,432.42 will be paid to XXXXX, and on her behalf, as follows: the amount of $14,952.54 will be paid to the MEABF on behalf of XXXXX as repayment for the amount of the annuity received by XXXXX from April 1996 to February 9, 1999, as set forth in paragraph 12 below, and the amount of $24,479.88 will be paid directly to XXXXX.
- Separately, the City will pay the employer's contribution to the MEABF arising from the payment of back pay from April 4, 1996 to February 9, 1999. The timing and method of this payment will be in accordance with the, City's customary business practices and Illinois law.
- Within thirty (30) days of the entry of the order dismissing this action, the City also will adjust XXXXX continuous service date to include her prior service and the time she was off from April 4, 1996 to February 9, 1999. This adjusted continuous service date shall be used for all purposes for which continuous service is computed or considered by the City. This adjustment, however, must be approved by XXXXX bargaining agent, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees ("AFSCME").
- Within thirty (30) days of the entry of the order dismissing this action, the City currently maintained in her present employing department, the Department of Transportation, all documents, notes, evaluations, letters, memoranda, etc. that make any reference to her termination of April 4, 1996 or any negative reference to her impairment, her refusal to work overtime, her request for a reasonable accommodation, her filing of a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or her involvement or cooperation with the United States Department of Justice's investigation into her charge, A copy of XXXXX personnel file as maintained by her employing department shall be provided to counsel for the United States within forty-five (45) business days of entry of this Settlement Agreement. The United States understands that the Department of Personnel of the City maintains records which will reflect that XXXXX was separated from her prior position on April 4, 1996 and rehired to the position of Administrative Assistant II on February 9, 1999. In addition, the Department of Law maintains a litigation file from which documents will not be removed and that the documents in that file containing information relating to XXXXX termination from employment, her impairment, her refusal to work overtime, her request for a reasonable accommodation, her filing of a charge of discrimination with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and her involvement and cooperation with the United States Department of Justice's investigation into her charge of discrimination and federal complaint. Documents will not be removed from the Law Department's litigation file, however, it is agreed that the file will not be released outside of the Department of Law, except as required by state or federal rule, statute or court order.
- The United States understands that the MEABF is an entity separate from the City of Chicago, and that the undersigned have no authority to bind the MEABF and that service credits and annuity amounts are within the exclusive and original jurisdiction of the MEABF in accordance with Illinois law.
- The United States shall not be obligated to perform the acts described in paragraph nine hereof unless and until the MEABF agrees in writing to adjust XXXXX service credits and annuity amounts to reflect her continuous service with the City since the date she first started participating in the pension fund, October 1, 1981. It is further understood that the MEABF will not adjust XXXXX service credits to the date of October 1, 1981, unless and until it receives payment of the annuity received by XXXXX during the period of time from April 1996 to February 9, 1999 in the amount of $14,952.54, It is further understood that the City will deduct the $14,952.54 from the net back pay amount of $39,432.42 and remit that amount to the MEABF on XXXXX behalf pursuant to paragraph 10(C) of this Agreement.
- The United States shall not be obligated to perform the acts described in paragraph nine hereof unless and until an authorized representative of AFSCME approves in writing the City's agreement to adjust XXXXX seniority based on her continuous service date of April 16, 1980.
- The City shall not be obligated to perform the acts described in paragraph 10 A through F hereof unless and until the actions identified in paragraph nine above are taken.
- The parties agree to the retention of jurisdiction by the federal court for purposes of enforcement of this Settlement Agreement for a period of three (3) years from the date of entry of the order dismissing this action. Any party may bring such issues before the Court by filing an appropriate motion during this period.
- The parties will bear their own costs and attorney's fees.
- This Settlement Agreement and General Release contains the entire agreement between the parties.
For Plaintiff United States of America
JOHN L. WODATCH, Chief
L. IRENE BOWEN, Deputy Chief
PHYLLIS M. COHEN
Disability Rights Section
Civil Rights Division
U.S. Department of Justice
P.O. Box 65969
Washington, D.C. 20035-5969
For Defendant City of Chicago
PATRICK J. ROCKS, Deputy
SUSAN M. O'KEEFE
Assistants Corporation Counsel
Employment Litigation Division
City of Chicago
30 North LaSalle Street, Suite 1020
Chicago, Illinois 60602
In exchange for and in consideration of the promises made by the City in the attached settlement agreement with the United States, I, XXXXX, agree to and hereby do irrevocably release and forever discharge the City, and its past or present representatives, attorneys, officers, agents, and employees, as well as any other City agency, representative, attorney, officer, agent or employee from liability of any Idnd for any claims, demands, actions, causes of action, losses, damages, attorneys' fees, costs or expenses incurred by me that I had or could have had in the past, or now have, against the City, or any of its representatives, attorneys, officers, agents or employees, based on any occurrence, event, relationship, action, inaction or breach of any duty or obligation on or before the effective date of this General Release, including, but not limited to, the events that form the basis of my charge filed with the EEOC and the complaint filed by the United States on my behalf.
With specific reference to any claims I may have under the ADA, I warrant that this General Release represents my knowing and voluntary waiver and release of any claims that might arise under the ADA through and including the date that this General Release is executed.
I further acknowledge that I have read and understand each and every provision contained in this Settlement Agreement and General Release. Further, I understand and agree that this Settlement Agreement and General Release is a final and total settlement of all claims I have now arising either directly or indirectly out of my employment relationship with the City and any other incidents which were or could have been the basis of this litigation, including claims for attorneys' fees, expenses and costs which I may have incurred in connection with this litigation, and that such finality is applicable to the City, and to its representatives, attorneys, officers, agents, and employeesin their individual and official capacities. I further state that I have voluntarily entered into this General Release and that none of the City's representatives,
attorneys, officers, agents, or employees have made any representations concerning the terms or effects of this Settlement Agreement and General Release, other than those terms contained herein.