The temporary-services agency ADECCO USA has settled a string of sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuits filed by women assigned to work at Pittsburgh Plastics Manufacturing’s facility in Butler.
Veronica Jalpa and Tonya Claypool say they were sexually harassed by a manager at the Butler plant who repeatedly made lewd remarks and touched the women’s buttocks.
The two women complained to ADECCO, but the agency refused to investigate or contact Pittsburgh Plastics about the allegations. ADECCO did, however, continue to assign the women to the same supervisor.
When Jalpa continued to complain, she was fired. Claypool says she was forced to quit rather than endure the continuing harassment.
Under the settlement, Pittsburgh Plastics will pay $79,500 to Jalpa, Claypool and two other women. ADECCO will contribute $12,000. ADECCO will enter into a two-year consent decree stipulating that it will report to the EEOC all sexual harassment allegations at the Pittsburgh Plastics facility.
ADECCO will also train its managers and supervisors how to handle sexual harassment complaints and avoid retaliation claims.
Note: Temporary agencies find themselves in delicate situations when a client’s employees misbehave. Ignoring the problem seldom works.
All sexual harassment complaints must be investigated promptly and fairly. In joint-employer situations (such as this case), clear communication is key. Both parties should have procedures in place determining which company will investigate and how information and responsibility will be shared.