ARTICLES FROM THE ARCHIVES
This article is the third in a special six-part series commemorating the 50th anniversary of the National Club
Association. This article is from the August 1996 issue of Club Director and it tells the story of one club’s efforts—and an industry’s support—to fight a lawsuit initiated by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). The EEOC’s chal- lenge was never based on an actual discrimination charge, but rather, appeared to be an initiative to eliminate or at least narrowly restrict the private club exemption under Title VII. Eventually, the case was resolved by the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals in early 1996. The court not only upheld the club’s position, but also was sharply critical of the EEOC’s dogged pursuit of the case. NCA followed the case since its inception and helped raise funds to defray some of the club’s legal expenses because
the issues had significant implications for the club community. The Private Club Exemption Fund raised more than $16,000 from the club community nationally. (See box on page 29.)
THE CHICAGO CLUB STORY
Several years earlier, the EEOC had conducted an investigation and determined that The Chicago Club was excluded from the employer definition con- tained in Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the law administered by the EEOC which requires submis- sion of the EEO-1 forms. Stover’s response included a reminder of their earlier decision and a copy of the EEOC’s own finding that it had no jurisdiction over The Chicago Club.
I 26 CLUB DIRECTOR
n June 1991, Frank Stover, general manager of The Chicago Club, received a request from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to submit an EEO-1 form (detailing the composition of the workforce by race and sex).
PERSISTENCE PAYS OFF IN WIN OVER EEOC BY MICHAEL E ROSENBLUM, ESQ. |
He thought that would end the matter. It didn’t—
The EEOC subsequently informed him that the agency did not feel bound by its earlier decision and requested him to provide information to justify his position that The Chicago Club was outside the EEOC’s jurisdiction. In fact, the EEOC had conducted a full investiga-
tion of The Chicago Club in 1986, and found it had no jurisdiction. However, a 1990 Chicago Federal District Court decision in a case the EEOC filed against the University Club of Chicago found that club was a covered employer under Title VII. Perhaps that is why the EEOC pursued The Chicago Club in spite of its 1986 decision.
THE BEST OF CLUB DIRECTOR
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