A Ford Motor plant in Chicago is being sued by four women who are alleging sexual harassment and discrimination. Back in 2000, the plant was sued for sexual discrimination, and the case was settled out of court for $9 million.
The attorney who brought the case 14 years ago is also bringing this case. The four women who are suing claim that they called Ford’s harassment hotline, told the company’s labor relations department, and their union, but no actions were taken against the company. Instead, company representatives allegedly told the women to stop calling the harassment hotline, and one woman was reportedly suspended for reporting the abuse.
According to the women filing the lawsuit, they were jeered at and lewd comments and catcalls were directed at them. They also claim that co-workers and supervisors requested sexual favors, exposed themselves and showed the women pictures of their genitals, as well as pornographic pictures. The co-workers and supervisors also allegedly subjected the women to unwelcome sexual advances. About 500 women are employed at the plant.
One of the women who sued, a maintenance worker, said the plant’s labor relations office was in sight of co-workers, which made it hard to file complaints without everyone knowing. On one occasion, the woman was called into the office after calling the harassment line, and after she left the supervisor was called in, so co-workers knew that she had complained about the supervisor. Another woman claims that she was once knocked to the ground from behind last year and the attacker stomped her on the back. He called her a snitch. She complained to Ford, but they allegedly did not investigate the allegations.
Another woman, a forklift driver at the plant, also filed a separate lawsuit against Ford earlier this year. She said that several incidents took place at the factory between 2010 and 2012. She was allegedly called derogatory names. She told the supervisor and the labor relations unit, but nothing was done. She was later fired. Ford alleges that the conduct about which the woman complained was not pervasive or serious, and that the woman failed to take any corrective opportunities.
Sexual harassment in the workplace is illegal. Sexual harassment is a type of sexual discrimination that is illegal under both state and federal law. Sexual harassment can take a variety of forms, including unwelcome sexual advances, any requests for sexual favors, and any other types of sexual conduct. Sexual harassment can happen to both women and men, and the harasser may not be the victim’s boss. If the conduct interferes with an individual’s work performance, it creates a hostile work environment, which is illegal. It’s also illegal to punish employees who report sexual harassment in the workplace.
If you are being sexually harassed at work in the Oakland-San Francisco area, you should let the harasser know that the conduct must stop. If you don’t feel comfortable telling the harasser to stop, or if you have told the harasser to stop and the conduct has continued, call an attorney. The attorney can help make the harassment stop, and can also help the victim obtain compensation for his or her damages.
At Liberty Law, Micha Star Liberty believes that sexual discrimination and sexual harassment in the workplace should never be tolerated. If you are the victim of sexual harassment, call Micha Star Liberty, Oakland sexual harassment attorney, at 510-645-1000 or 415-896-1000. She can help you make the harassment stop, and can also help you to obtain money for your emotional distress and other damages. Call to learn more about your legal options, or to schedule your free consultation.