The former owners of an Eveleth, MN iron ore mining company represented by Fireman's Fund Insurance Co. have agreed to settle a longstanding class action sexual harassment lawsuit filed on behalf of 15 women employees who worked there during the 1970s.
Plaintiffs charged that they had to carry knives and mace to work in order to defend themselves after they were repeatedly beaten, threatened with rape and murder, called "dogs", denied access to restrooms, inappropriately touched and grabbed by male peers and supervisors.
Several of the plaintiffs have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress syndrome, a condition that often plagues combat veterans and sexual abuse survivors.
Federal law limits sexual harassment awards to $300,000 per individual, but plaintiffs in this particular case were able to win more because the case was tried under Minnesota state law, which does not restrict the amount of money which can be awarded in sexual harassment suits.
Although all parties agreed not to reveal the exact amount of the settlement, sources contacted by the Washington Post estimate that individual plaintiffs will receive more than $300,000 each, and that the total settlement will surpass $1 million.
Media Resources: Washington Post - January 5, 1999
8/28/2015 Alaska Court Protects Abortion Access for Low-Income Women - The Alaska Superior Court struck down a state law yesterday that would have severely limited abortion access for low-income women in Alaska.
The state's Superior Court also struck down a Department of Health and Social Services regulation that placed narrow specifications on Medicaid coverage for abortions, requiring that Medicaid-funded abortions be determined by a physician to be "medically necessary." Last year, the Center for Reproductive Rights, the American Civil Liberties Union, and Planned Parenthood sued on behalf of the Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, claiming that the narrow definition of "medically necessary" arbitrarily established conditions designed to restrict the ability of low-income women to access abortion services.
The law was temporarily blocked last July by an Alaskan state court judge.
Superior Court Judge John Suddock ordered yesterday that the state be blocked from implementing this regulation, ruling that it placed an undue burden on low-income women seeking abortion services in Alaska.
"By providing health care to all poor Alaskans except women who need abortions, the challenged regulation violates the state constitutional guarantee of 'equal rights, opportunities, and protection under the law'," the ruling read.
"We applaud the superior court for striing down these cruel restrictions on women's health and rights that violate the Alaska Constitution," said Chris Charbonneau, CEO of Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest and the Hawaiian Islands. . . .
8/26/2015 Saudi Women Prepare to Vote for the First Time - The fight for gender equality is making slow but notable progress in Saudi Arabia, where women will be allowed to vote for the first time in upcoming December elections.
This shift in Saudi law came in 2011, when a royal decree announced that women would be allowed to vote and run in local elections beginning in December of 2015. . . .