$1.1 MILLION FINAL JUDGMENT IN EEOC SEXUAL HARASSMENT CASE

The EEOC has announced a $1.1 million final judgment against Custom Companies, an Illinois trucking company, in a sexual harassment case the agency brought against it. The EEOC’s lawsuit was filed May 28, 2002, in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois in Chicago. The final judgment was entered by U.S. District Court Judge Harry D. Leinenweber following a November 17, 2006 jury verdict in favor of the EEOC.

The EEOC had charged that three female sales representatives were subjected to unwelcome groping, lewd sexual language, sexual propositions, and pornography, and that one was sued by Custom Companies in Illinois state court because she complained to the EEOC. Additionally, EEOC also maintained that female sales representatives were expected to entertain customers and potential clients at a “gentlemen’s” or “strip” club in Chicago. The EEOC also presented photographs during the trial showing strippers in revealing attire positioned around the course at company-sponsored golf outings for customers.

The judge also granted broad injunctive relief affecting the companies’ business practices for a period of four years. It requires, among other things, that the company not sponsor company events at “a place of adult entertainment or which includes adult entertainers” and that the company also distribute a notice to its customers advising them of the jury verdict and the court’s judgment. The company must also post a notice advising its employees of the outcome of the EEOC’s lawsuit and their “right to contact the EEOC without fear of retaliation,” and to provide sexual harassment training for all employees, including top executives and supervisors.

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