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U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission



PRESS RELEASE
9-7-11

Auto Parts Distributorship to Pay $175,000 to Settle EEOC Sex Harassment Lawsuit

Auto Parts Company Did Nothing to Stop Regional Director’s Misconduct, Federal Agency Charged

PHOENIX – Arizona Logistics, Inc. doing business as DSI Arizona, and its management company, Norlyn Enterprises, Inc., agreed to pay $175,000 to five former employees and to implement preventive measures as part of a settlement of a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

In its suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona (Civil Action No.CV-09-02057 SRB), the EEOC charged that DSI Arizona and Norlyn subjected female employees to egregious sexual harassment by then-Regional Director Mark Berault. The EEOC’s allegations included that Berault sexually assaulted several of the women and engaged in unwelcome touching and indecent exposure. Berault made sexually explicit comments to the women and showed pictures of his private parts to several of them. Although DSI Arizona and Norlyn knew about the sexually hostile work environment caused by its regional director, the company failed to take prompt and effective corrective action.

Sexual harassment violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

“This was an outrageous case of sexual harassment involving a supervisor who preyed upon vulnerable female employees, subjecting them to some of the most extreme forms of sexual harassment,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary J. O’Neill. “We hope this settlement sends a message to employers that the EEOC will act to ensure compliance with the law.”

In addition to the settlement requiring DSI Arizona and Norlyn to pay $175,000 to the female victims, the company will provide significant remedial relief. DSI Arizona and Norlyn must not rehire Mark Berault; must investigate any further complaints of sexual harassment promptly; provide training for managers and supervisors on conducting sexual harassment investigations; post a notice that harassment of DSI Arizona and Norlyn employees will not be tolerated; and provide a letter of regret to each of the victims.

According to its website, www.diligentusa.com, the company has national distribution with locations in over 20 regions across the United States.

EEOC Phoenix District Director Rayford O. Irvin said, “Employers must take seriously their obligations under the law to provide a workplace free from sexual harassment.”

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.