Akin Gump Recovers $1 Million Fee in EEOC Case

Akin Gump’s win on behalf of the world’s largest brand experience company Freeman, in which a federal judge awarded nearly $1 million to the company to cover attorneys’ fees in a discrimination case brought by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), was covered by The American Lawyer, Law360, Bloomberg BNA and other outlets.

The EEOC had claimed that Freeman’s use of job applicants’ credit histories and criminal convictions had a disparate impact on African-American, Hispanic and male job applicants, but a court entered judgment for Freeman and dismissed the suit in 2013. The ruling was later upheld by the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 4th Circuit.

Akin Gump partner Donald Livingston, a former EEOC general counsel, told Am Law that it is rare for an attorneys’ fees award to be entered against the EEOC in Title VII litigation, but in this case, the commission overreached. “What the judge has said,” he observed, “is that when you, as a plaintiff, know that you have lost … that you have an obligation to stop litigating.”

To read the full article by Am Law, please click here.

Speaking to Law360, Livingston added, “We hope [the ruling] brings the case to a close.”

Commenting further on the case, Livingston praised Freeman for its commitment to seeing the case to its conclusion, saying, “Without this commitment from Freeman, the EEOC’s evidence would never have been evaluated by the courts. Indeed, the district court’s opinion explicitly states that “no set of objective eyes has yet looked at [EEOC’s evidence] and considered it anything but … unreliable.”

Dawnn Repp, chief legal & administrative officer for Freeman added, “We are immensely pleased with the judge’s latest decision, and expect that it will at last bring an end to this matter. We were always confident that our policies were rational and reasonable, and with this very favorable ruling, we are now looking forward to moving on from a case that was disruptive for our business and employees.”

To read more about the 4th Circuit’s ruling earlier this year, please click here. To read more about the 2013 U.S. District Court win, please click here.