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Ford facing expanded sexual harassment lawsuit

New York residents may be interested to learn that a sexual lawsuit filed in November 2014 against Ford in Chicago was recently expanded, and now includes additional allegations involving dozens of women at another Ford plant in Chicago. The amended civil complaint was filed on May 13 in an Illinois federal court.

The class action lawsuit was originally brought on behalf of four women at the Torrence Avenue assembly plant for Ford. The new complaints originate from the company's stamping plant in Chicago Heights.

The plaintiffs allege an ongoing and pervasive environment in which sexual harassment was rampant. They indicate that the lawsuit indicates that prior sexual harassment allegations against the company were never truly addressed. In response to the amended lawsuit, Ford indicated it takes allegations of sexual harassment seriously. The company previously settled a class action sexual harassment lawsuit in 2000 with another group of female employees. The current case now involves 33 female employee plaintiffs, 31 of whom worked at the assembly plant location and two who worked at the stamping plant location.

Workplace sexual discrimination is forbidden under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. Victims who are faced with such discriminatory behavior must file a complaint within the prescribed time period. It is important for people to report sexual harassment quickly and not to wait, thinking that it will simply go away. Those who are victims of sexual harassment may want to get the help of an employment law attorney who may be able to help their clients timely file complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and with the applicable state agency.

Source: Industry Week, "Dozens more women, at second plant, claim sexual harassment at Ford," May 13, 2015

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