Class of Women Subjected to Misconduct, Including Unwelcome Physical Contact, Federal Agency Found
CHICAGO - Niemann Foods, Inc., doing business as County Market Store #224, based in Quincy, Ill., has agreed to pay $300,000 to conciliate a sexual harassment charge investigated by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the federal agency announced today.
EEOC's investigation revealed that Niemann subjected a class of female employees to sexual harassment that included unwelcome physical contact. Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
According to the three-year agreement resolving the matter, the monetary settlement will be divided among the alleged discrimination victims. Niemann Foods will retain an experienced outside consultant to provide annual training to all members of its Human Resources Department and all employees at its Chatham, Ill., location on the topics of discrimination and harassment, including, but not limited to, sex discrimination and harassment under Title VII. The company has also agreed to provide periodic reporting to EEOC on all complaints of sex discrimination, harassment, and/or retaliation made at its Chatham location, and will post an internal notification to its Chatham employees of this conciliation. Niemann will also revise its employment policy to comply with Title VII and will distribute the revised policy (including laminated cards with the company's equal employment opportunity hotline number listed) to all employees.
"Sex harassment continues to be a constant issue in American workplaces," said Julianne Bowman, director of EEOC's Chicago District Office. "We are pleased that Niemann Foods was willing to work with EEOC to address issues of harassment and discrimination in its workplace. By reaching this agreement, the company is demonstrating its commitment to providing its employees with a work environment free of discrimination and harassment."
EEOC's Chicago District is responsible for investigating charges of discrimination in Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Iowa and North and South Dakota.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about EEOC is available on its website at www.eeoc.gov.