Jury Awards $1.5 Million in Sexual Harassment Lawsuit Against Mid-American Specialties
Mid-American Specialties must pay $1.5 million after a jury found they violated federal law in the sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission ("EEOC"). According to published accounts Mid- American had two managers who subjected three female employees to severe sexual harassment. The sexual harassment consisted of forcing one woman to place her hands on his penis area. Another example was senior managers would make the females become part of what they called the smooching club in order to receive sales leads.
The females rejected these advances and as a result two females were fired which constitutes retaliation. To make matters worse Mid-American had no sexual harassment policy, no training on sexual harassment, and no reporting procedures in place during this time. In what might have been the most remarkable testimony at trial, senior people from the company testified that they did not think that sexual harassment policies and procedures were necessary, so the complaints by the women were not taken seriously. The human resources manager testified that she did not even know the definition of sexual harassment at the time of the events.
"This jury verdict sends the strongest possible message to employers that sexual harassment and retaliation should never be tolerated in the work place,” said EEOC attorney Faye A. Williams