Following a lawsuit filed last November against a Ford Assembly Plant in Chicago, which accused the company of sexual harassment and racial discrimination toward employees, an investigation carried out by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has turned up evidence for both allegations.
The Times of Northwest Indiana reports that in a class action lawsuit filed last year, a group of female former Ford employees who used to work at the automaker's facility in Hegeswich had levied a complaint with the EEOC about instances of sexual harassment in the workplace. These included accusations of "[being] groped, had hand-carved phallic symbols thrown at them and were ridiculed when they complained."
This prompted an official response from the EEOC, which found proof that both female and black workers at the factory were routinely discriminated against whenever they complained of improper treatment. Examples included "being reassigned to less favorable job assignments or shifts, being denied overtime or transfers and being disciplined or fired."
For its part, Ford spokeswoman Kristina Adamski reiterated that the automaker prides itself on being an equal employer opportunity and "takes reports of harassment or discrimination very seriously," but did not comment on the specific findings of the EEOC investigation.
This most recent lawsuit is not the first time that Ford's Chicago Assembly Plant has brushed with accusations of sexual harassment. In 2000, the company paid $9 million to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit and then spent another $10 million to retrain its managers and male employees on best practices for treating female co-workers.
If you have faced discrimination or sexual harassment in the workplace, and believe you might have a lawsuit on your hands, contact The Meyers Law Firm. Our expert employment discrimination lawyers can assess your claim and discuss your next steps.