Mitsubishi Motor, the company charged with pervasive sexual harassment at its Normal, Ill. plant, has approached the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission to discuss the agency’s lawsuit. In the first official contact made with the EEOC by a Mitsubishi representative, a lawyer for Mitsubishi and a former head of the EEOC attempted to discuss the case with EEOC Chairman Gilbert F. Cassellas last week. Cassellas referred both men to the Chicago office of the EEOC. Neither Mitsubishi nor the EEOC would comment on any developments, other than to acknowledge that “contacts may have been made.”
EEOC Vice Chairman Paul M. Igasaki said the EEOC is proceeding with the lawsuit, which will likely not go to trial for at least two years. Normal, Ill. plant chairman and chief executive Tsuneo Ohinouye said the company rejected an EEOC settlement proposal last summer, but that the company was interested in settling the dispute to “regain” Mitsubishi’s reputation and its employees. The EEOC is required by federal law to attempt to settle a dispute before it goes to court.