The EEOC has won a reduction of a large attorneys’ fee award it had been ordered to pay for an allegedly frivolous lawsuit.
Recent case: When CRST settled a long-standing legal dispute over alleged sexual harassment in the workplace, it agreed to pay one employee $50,000. The lawsuit had alleged that there were at least two sexual harassment victims and employer knowledge.
After a judge dismissed all other claims, CRST asked the court to pay its legal bills and costs on the theory that the EEOC claims had been frivolous and that it had essentially won the lawsuit. The judge awarded CRST over $4 million. The EEOC appealed.
The 8th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the award and sent the case back to the trial court with orders to look more closely at the lawsuit to determine which, if any, specific claims had been frivolous. (EEOC v. CRST Van, No. 13-3159, 8th Cir., 2014)