Sexual, Racial Harassment Settlement Will Cost Ford Motor Co. Up to $10 Million

Author: Michael Cardman, XpertHR Legal Editor

August 24, 2017

Ford Motor Company has agreed to pay up to $10.1 million to settle sexual and racial harassment claims, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced.

An EEOC investigation uncovered reasonable cause to believe that female and African-American employees at two Ford plants in the Chicago area had been subjected to sexual and racial harassment, and that the company retaliated against employees who complained about it.

Ford did not admit liability and chose to settle to avoid an extended dispute, according to the EEOC.

The $10.1 million settlement is among the largest of those announced by the EEOC in recent years, close in size to Bass Pro Outdoor World, LLC ($10.5 million) and Texas Roadhouse ($12 million). Yet it is dwarfed by the $240 million jury verdict the EEOC obtained in 2013 - the largest in its history.

Racial harassment and sexual harassment violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, as well as various state and local laws that are not in the purview of the EEOC.

In addition to providing up to $10.1 million in monetary relief to those who are found eligible through a claims process established by the agreement, Ford also agreed to:

  • Conduct regular training at two of its Chicago-area facilities;
  • Continue to disseminate its antiharassment and antidiscrimination policies and procedures to employees and new hires;
  • Report to the EEOC regarding complaints of harassment and/or related discrimination; and
  • Monitor its workforce regarding issues of alleged sexual or racial harassment and related discrimination.