Ford Motor to Pay $10.1M to Resolve Race, Sex Bias Allegations

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By Patrick Dorrian

Ford Motor Co. will pay a group of workers up to $10.1 million to resolve their allegations of sexual and racial harassment at two of the automaker’s facilities in the Chicago area, federal enforcement authorities announced Aug. 16.

The private settlement comes following the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s investigation into charges of discrimination filed by some of the workers and resolves those charges prior to any lawsuit being filed. The federal job rights agency found reasonable cause to believe that female and black employees at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and Chicago Stamping Plant were subjected to sexual and racial harassment, according to the EEOC’s announcement. The investigation also found that employees who complained about the harassment and discrimination were subjected to job retaliation, the EEOC says.

The agreement was reached through voluntary conciliation among the parties under Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act and thus is private and not available for public review.

Ford to Conduct Regular Training

In addition to the monetary relief, Ford for the next five years will conduct regular employee training at the two facilities, continue to provide its anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures to current employees and new hires, monitor its compliance with Title VII’s race and sex discrimination prohibitions, and keep the EEOC informed regarding any harassment or discrimination complaints filed by workers at the facilities.

“Ford Motor Company has worked with the EEOC to address complaints of harassment and discrimination at these two facilities and to implement policies and procedures that will effectively prevent future harassment or provide prompt action when harassment complaints arise,” EEOC Chicago District Director Julianne Bowman said in the statement. “Ford has taken its responsibilities seriously and is committed to providing its employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment.”

The company, which didn’t admit to liability by agreeing to the conciliation pact, didn’t immediately respond Aug. 16 to Bloomberg BNA’s request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Patrick Dorrian in Washington at pdorrian@bna.com

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Peggy Aulino at maulino@bna.com; Terence Hyland at thyland@bna.com; Chris Opfer at copfer@bna.com

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