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Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. Stone Pony Pizza, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Mississippi

August 9, 2013

EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, PLAINTIFF
v.
STONE PONY PIZZA, INC., DEFENDANT

For Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Plaintiff: Faye A. Williams, Markeisha Katara Savage, LEAD ATTORNEYS, EEOC - Memphis, Memphis, TN; Joseph M. Crout, LEAD ATTORNEY, EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY COMMISSION, Memphis, TN.

For Chendra Johnson-Hampton, Wylinda Gregory, Youmeka Simpson, Intervenor Plaintiffs: Melvin David Miller , II, W. Ellis Pittman, LEAD ATTORNEYS, PITTMAN LAW OFFICE, PLLC, Clarksdale, MS.

For Stone Pony Pizza, Inc., Defendant: Vikki J. Taylor, LEAD ATTORNEY, Gibbs Whitwell PLLC, Jackson, MS.

OPINION

Jane M. Virden, U.S. Magistrate Judge.

Page 968

ORDER

Before the court is the motion of Chendra Johnson-Hampton, Wylinda Gregory and Youmeka Simpson (" Movants" ) for leave to intervene in this action [5]. The court has considered the motion, the responses, and Movants' reply brief, and for the reasons stated below, the court finds that all Movants should be allowed to intervene in this action.

This action was filed by the EEOC, alleging unlawful employment practices by Stone Pony Pizza, Inc., based on racial discrimination against Johnson-Hampton, Gregory, and Simpson. The EEOC's complaint [1] essentially alleges that " Stone Pony Pizza, Inc., failed to hire Chendra Johnson, Youmeka Simpson, Wylinda Gregory, and other qualified African American applicants, because of their race." Compl. p. 1. Specifically, the EEOC's complaint alleges Defendant did not interview or hire Johnson for a server position she applied for in person on September 27, 2010. Id. at p. 3. It also alleges Defendant's unlawful employment practices include refusing to hire or interview Simpson, who-- after she " learned that Defendant . . . was hiring for the server position[,] . . . applied in person for employment with Defendant . . . on or about September or October 2010." Id. at p. 4. Further, it alleges that Defendant's unlawful

Page 969

employment practices include refusing to hire Gregory, who applied in person twice for a server position. Id. at p. 5. Gregory was allegedly told " around September 2010" by employees of Defendant that Defendant was hiring for the server position.

Movants seek to intervene pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(a)(1) [1] on that ground that they have a statutory right to intervene pursuant to 42 U.S.C. § 2000e-5(f)(1) which allows intervention by " aggrieved persons" in actions such as this filed by the Commission. Additionally, Movants seek to intervene pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 24(b)(1)(B) on the ground that " their claims share common questions of law or fact with this civil action." The proposed complaint submitted by Movants in support of the motion to intervene likewise alleges that Stone Pony Pizza, Inc., refused to hire Movants because of their race.

The EEOC supports Movants' request and argues that Ms. Johnson-Hampton is expressly accorded the right to intervene pursuant to § 2000e-5(f)(1). Additionally, the EEOC argues that Mses. Simpson and Gregory, as similarly situated parties, meet the criteria under the law of this Circuit for opting in to an action filed by the EEOC. Defendant, on the other hand, objects to the motion in toto. In support of its opposition, Defendant has supplied a charge of discrimination which shows that Ms. Johnson-Hamptom claimed that on September 27, 2010, she applied for a waiter/server position with Defendant and that she believes she was discriminated against because of her race in violation of Title VII. Defendant admits, however, that

On June 29, 2012, the EEOC issued a Determination, finding reasonable cause to believe that Johnson's claim might have merit. The Determination also states, Stone Pony " denied two other Black applicants [Youmeka Simpson and Wylinda Gregory] the opportunity to work in Server positions because of their race."
During the conciliation process, the EEOC presented Stone Pony with settlement demands for all three ...

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