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EEOC Finds Evidence of Sexual Harassment at Ford Plants

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has substantiated complaints of sexual harassment made by six women in a class-action lawsuit against Ford Motor Co. in a Determination issued earlier this week.

The six plaintiffs are current or former workers of a Ford Motor Co. assembly plant and a parts factory in the Chicago area. At least seven more individual sexual harassment complaints are pending against Ford.

Attorney Daniel L. Berger, who along with Attorney Vanessa L. Smith is representing the women in a federal lawsuit against Ford, said “Our clients feel vindicated by this Determination. The lawsuit will reach a new level of intensity now that the EEOC has concluded its independent investigation of the charges. Berger continued, “These findings show that this is not only a problem that individual women are facing from a small number of co-workers, but a large-scale problem within the second-largest car manufacturer in the country.”

Plaintiffs charged that factory walls and employee lockers were covered with pornographic posters, pictures of scantily-clad women, and sexually explicit graffiti, and that pornographic magazines were left lying in public areas. They also contend that women employees were daily subjected to cat calls, hooting, unwanted sexual advances, sexist insults, and sexual propositions made by both peers and supervisors.

Sources:

Business Wire and AP - January 6 and 7, 1998