Lawsuit alleged sexual and racial harassment and retaliation at two Ford plants
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found reasonable cause to believe that female and African-American employees at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and Chicago Stamping Plant had been harassed based on their sex and race. EEOC also investigated allegations of retaliation against employees who complained about the harassment or discrimination.
Although Ford did not admit to the liability, they agreed to compensate employees through a claims process. Four women at the Chicago Assembly Plant claimed that men touched and groped them, exposed themselves and subjected them to unwanted comments, stares and pornographic images. In one instance, the lawsuit describes one supervisor who asked to perform oral sex on a plaintiff and showed her an area of the plant where other workers would have sex, making her fear that he would force her to do that as well. In another instance, it was alleged that a manager requested sex with one of the plaintiffs and described the size of his genitals.
The initial lawsuit was expanded to include more than 30 female employees who claimed that they were targeted by male co-workers, managers and supervisors if they complained about the propositions and inappropriate conduct.
In addition to the financial payout, Ford will conduct regular training at the facilities for the next five years and disseminate anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures to all new hires and employees. Ford must also report to the EEOC any complaints of harassment or other forms of discrimination.