By Judy Greenwald, Crain News Service
CHICAGO (Sept. 15, 2014) — An automotive parts chain has agreed to pay $35,000 under a consent decree to resolve a sexual harassment case before the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).
The settlement of the case involved a female store manager who was accused of harassing a male worker, the agency said Sept. 12.
The EEOC said the male employee, who was working in one of the Chicago stores of Springfield, Mo.-based O'Reilly Automotive Stores Inc., was subjected to harassment including groping and sexually offensive comments in violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.
The agency also charged that O'Reilly did not promptly or adequately respond to the worker's complaints of sexual harassment. O'Reilly opted to negotiate an end to the lawsuit with the EEOC shortly after it was filed on Aug. 28, the agency said. The chain operated 4,257 stores in 42 states as of June 30.
Under terms of the consent decree, which was approved by the U.S. District Court in Chicago on Sept. 3, O'Reilly will report all employee complaints of sexual harassment in the district where the store is located for the next two years in addition to paying $35,000 to the victim.
EEOC Chicago District Director John Rowe, who managed the EEOC's administrative investigation of the charge of discrimination underlying the lawsuit, said in a statement: “Sadly, sexual harassment remains a persistent issue in today's workplace. But it is still encouraging to see employers faced with the problem step up quickly to deal with it and to chart a better course for the future, whether it is men or women who were the victims.”
A company spokesman had no comment.
This report appeared on the website of Crain's Business Insurance magazine, a Chicago-based sister publication of Tire Business.