Cintas Comments on Ruling by U.S. District Court in Employee Privacy Lawsuit
CINCINNATI, OH, September 1, 2006 - Scott Farmer, President and CEO of Cintas Corporation (Nasdaq: CTAS), issued the following statement today regarding a U.S. District Court’s summary judgment in favor of Cintas employees who filed a class-action lawsuit against the UNITE union for unlawfully violating their privacy.
“The ruling is a tremendous victory for our employee-partners – as well as all workers across the country who are being subjected to union harassment. Many unions think they can say or do just about anything to hurt companies and their employees. Summary judgment sends a clear message to the unions that these unlawful tactics will not be tolerated. This ruling, as well as the Sutter Health decision a few weeks ago, clearly indicate that UNITE is not above the law, and that the courts will hold them and other unions accountable for their unlawful, self-interest driven tactics. Cintas applauds the Court’s decision and will continue to ensure the rights of its employee-partners are protected.”
CASE SUMMARY AND BACKGROUND:
The Drivers’ Privacy Protection case was filed by several Cintas employees in the spring of 2004. The employees became concerned after they – or their family and friends – began receiving unannounced, uninvited visits at home from union representatives who obtained their personal contact information by using license plate numbers to access DMV records.
On August 30, 2006, the U.S. District Court in Philadelphia issued a summary judgment in favor of Cintas’ employees. The Court ruled that UNITE violated the federal Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act by illegally obtaining access to their confidential motor vehicle information.
The court ordered UNITE to pay $2,500 to each of the Cintas employees who brought the original lawsuit. The court will also determine whether to award punitive damages and compensation to approximately 2,000 additional Cintas employees at future proceedings. The total amount that UNITE will be ordered to pay may run into the millions of dollars.
The privacy ruling marks the second time this year that UNITE was found guilty of unlawful activities in conjunction with its corporate campaign tactics. In addition to the ruling in favor of Cintas employees, a California jury found that UNITE acted with "fraud, malice or oppression" in another corporate campaign that significantly affected Sutter Health facilities on the west coast. The healthcare network was awarded $17.3 million following the verdict a few weeks ago.
Headquartered in Cincinnati, Cintas Corporation provides highly specialized services to businesses of all types throughout North America. Cintas designs, manufactures and implements corporate identity uniform programs, and provides entrance mats, restroom supplies, promotional products, first aid and safety products, fire protection services and document management services for approximately 700,000 businesses. Cintas is a publicly held company traded over the Nasdaq Global Select Market under the symbol CTAS, and is a Nasdaq-100 company and component of the Standard & Poors 500 Index. The Company has achieved 37 consecutive years of growth in sales and earnings, to date.
In 2006, Cintas was listed among FORTUNE magazine's "Most Admired Companies In America" for the sixth consecutive year and named the "Best Employer In Canada" by Report on Business Magazine, a Globe and Mail publication.