Detergent maker Dial Corporation agreed last Monday to pay $10 million, settling a sexual harassment lawsuit brought by 90 previous and current female employees working at its Aurora, Illinois soap factory. The last-minute agreement between the Scottsdale, Arizona-company and the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) halted the pending trial, where Dial faced allegations of fostering a "permissive culture" which condoned groping, sexual insults, and displays of pornography by its male workers, including supervisors, reported Bloomberg. Court documents indicated that women who reported harassment faced retaliation or inaction by upper management, according to Reuters. Dial denied wrongdoing but agreed to federal compliance monitors for the next two-and-a-half years at its plant. The lawsuit represents the largest EEOC sexual harassment case in five years.
Also last week, a federal judge granted female plant workers in Kansas class-action status for their sexual discrimination lawsuit against their employer, defense contractor Boeing Company. US District Judge Wesley Brown decided that 4,800 women may proceed with the lawsuit, which charges Boeing for sexual discrimination in pay, promotions, and other employment opportunities and seeks back pay and damages amounting to $40 to $50 million, according to Reuters. While the company staunchly refutes the claims, Hanes Berman, the law firm representing the plaintiffs, insists the problem is "endemic," referencing an external survey finding that more than 85 percent of Boeing's women workers receive less pay than male workers in comparable positions. "A company can explain away slight statistical anomalies, but Boeing has a great deal more to answer for... The numbers don't lie-they point to a systemic, ongoing problem in virtually every major Boeing facility," Berman told the Reuters. The firm is handling similar class action cases filed by female Boeing employees in Washington, Oklahoma, California, and Missouri.
Media Resources: Associated Press 4/29/03, 4/30/03; Bloomberg 4/27/03; Reuters 4/28/03
2/27/2015 This Bipartisan Bill Will Hold Colleges Accountable for Ending Campus Sexual Assault - A bipartisan bill aimed at holding colleges and universities accountable for rape and sexual assault cases was introduced in Congress yesterday, spearheaded by Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY).
Some of the Campus Accountability and Safety Act's key key provisions include a requirement of confidential reporting systems on colleges and universities, minimum training requirements for campus personnel, and stricter penalties for schools found to be in violation of Title IX or the Clery Act. . . .
2/26/2015 If This Bill Passes Federal Law Will Add Consent to Sex Ed Curriculums - Right now, federal law does not require health or sex education to include sexual assault prevention - but that could change with a new bill introduced by Senators Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Tim Kaine (D-VA).
The Teach Safe Relationships Act of 2015, which was introduced earlier this month, would require all public secondary schools in the country to include teaching "safe relationship behavior" in order to help prevent domestic violence and sexual assault. . . .