Townsend Oil and Propane bought Nichols Oil & Gas in Macedon seven years ago. Turns out, the company also bought liability for harassment committed more than a decade ago by the former owner.
Under the terms of a just-reached settlement, Townsend must pay $150,000 to women who claim they were sexually harassed by the man who owned and ran Nichols Oil & Gas.
According to the women’s complaint to the EEOC, the owner routinely grabbed their breasts and buttocks and lewdly propositioned them. Although the incidents occurred between 1999 and 2003, they weren’t settled until earlier this year. Nine women filed EEOC complaints before the company was sold in 2005.
The court judged Townsend Oil & Propane, as the new owner, an “innocent purchaser” that was nonetheless a “successor defendant” liable for the harm the women suffered.
Note: When purchasing a business, always ask about pending complaints or litigation.
- How to Fire an Employee the Legal Way: 6 Termination Guidelines
- When religion may prevent dress code compliance, check further before discipline
- Illinois Unemployment Insurance Act
- Prepare to go to trial even if employee represents herself
- When salaries differ within job classification, be prepared to offer data explaining why