Hyundai Employee Awarded $5.79 Million in Sexual Harassment Case
Tammy Edwards and employee at Hyundai was awarded $5.79 million last week in her sexual harassment lawsuit. According to the complaint, a manager, made lewd comments and gestures, propositioned her, and even pressed his body against her. These harassing activities lasted for five months. Ms. Edwards was told she should get used to it and act like it didn't bother her. Eventually, in July 2006, Edwards reported the behavior to Hyundai's human resources department, and a week later she was transferred from her job as a computer operator to a job on the assembly line- a position she couldn't physically perform--which is retaliation.
Ms. Edwards decided not to just take it and instead filed her federal lawsuit against the company. Officials at the plant never attempted to correct the situation according to the lawsuit.
Alicia Haynes, who represented Edwards, said the verdict shows that companies need to have safeguards against harassment and to make sure they are followed.
HMMA vice president and general counsel Rick Neal said in the statement released through a spokesman.
"HMMA has never condoned or tolerated sexual harassment or retaliation in our facility, and we constantly strive to create a working environment where all of our team members can feel free to come to work without fear of harassment in any form. That's why this verdict is so terribly disappointing. It does not accurately reflect HMMA's core values and beliefs."