Ford has agreed to pay $10.1 million to settle a suit involving sexual and racial harassment charges at two of its Chicago plants, according to The Detroit News. The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated allegations that personnel at Ford’s Chicago Assembly Plant and Chicago Stamping Plant had harassed female and Black employees, finding reasonable cause to believe that the allegations were true. According to the agency, members of management also took retaliation against employees who complained.
“Ford Motor Co. 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,” said EEOC Chicago District Director Julianne Bowman in a statement.
Ford did not have to admit liability as part of the settlement, and the automaker will establish a claims process to facilitate the compensation of wronged employees. In a statement, the company said that it “does not tolerate harassment or discrimination of any kind,” and is “fully committed to a zero-tolerance, harassment-free work environment.” The automaker says that after a thorough investigation, it took disciplinary action against culpable personnel in Chicago, “up to and including dismissal.”
The US EEOC’s investigation into Ford’s Chicago plants sprang out of a lawsuit brought by four women who alleged that male co-workers and supervisors harassed them both verbally and physically – even exposed themselves. The suit later grew to involve more than 30 women.