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Will contempt order melt DQ’s resolve not to pay?

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in Discrimination and Harassment,Human Resources

Back in December 2011, the operator of a Dairy Queen restaurant in Winston-Salem’s Hanes Mall agreed to settle an EEOC lawsuit involving a teen worker who claimed she was retaliated against for complaining about sexual harassment. The deal called for YS&J Enterprises to pay $17,500 to the teenager and train its managers and supervisors how to spot and stop harassment and retaliation.

A year and a half later, none of those things has happened—no pay to the teen, no training—and the EEOC has decided to up the ante. It filed a civil contempt motion in an attempt to force compliance. A federal judge agreed and ordered a $1,000 per day penalty until the employer honors the settlement agreement’s terms.

Note: Always ask your attorney about your rights and obligations when signing any agreement.

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