In a startling court order, a judge has required a company to tell its customers about a sexual-harassment verdict that cost it more than $2.3 million. The verdict came in a Title VII Civil Rights Act case championed by the EEOC and was a major victory for the agency responsible for enforcing many of the nation’s employment-discrimination laws. (EEOC v. Custom Cos. Inc., No. 2 C 3768, N.D. IL, 2007)
In a 50-page opinion, the court characterized the company’s behavior as “reprehensible” based on a “hyper-sexualized work environment” of touching, sexual advances, sexually explicit comments, pornography and jokes. The court also noted that the harassment came from individuals in the organization who held positions of power.
The case opens the floodgates for other judges to use the same tactic when punishing employers for harassment.
That’s bad news for employers, who would rather have the public know about their e...(register to read more)