Company Will Pay Additional Amount to Settle Retaliation Claim
MILWAUKEE – Georgia-Pacific Gypsum LLC will pay more than $75,000 to settle sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuits brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and former GP-Gypsum employee Tina Hammer, the EEOC announced today.
The EEOC had alleged that GP-Gypsum violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 by permitting a co-worker at its Fort Dodge, Iowa drywall manufacturing plant to sexually harass Hammer and then not taking proper remedial action. In addition to paying $75,000 to resolve the sexual harassment claim, G-P Gypsum, a subsidiary of Georgia-Pacific LLC, will make a second payment to Hammer to resolve her claim, brought through a private attorney, that G-P Gypsum fired her in retaliation for complaining about sexual harassment.
In its lawsuit, Civil Action No. 3:07-CV-3022-MWB (N.D. Iowa), filed on March 28, 2007, the EEOC sought injunctive relief, back pay, and compensatory and punitive damages for Hammer. Under an 18-month consent decree approved by U.S. District Judge Mark W. Bennett yesterday, G-P Gypsum will pay Hammer $75,000 for her sexual harassment claim; give Title VII training to its Fort Dodge managers and supervisors; post a notice of the settlement at its Fort Dodge plant; and report to the EEOC through May 31, 2010, about complaints of sexual harassment or retaliation by Fort Dodge employees and any actions taken as a result of the complaints.
“Sexual harassment violates an employee’s dignity and makes it difficult for her to do the work that the employer expects of her,” said John Rowe, director of the EEOC’s Chicago District Office. “We are pleased that GP-Gypsum has decided to right this wrong and to confirm its commitment to equal employment opportunity for all workers.”
Jean P. Kamp, associate regional attorney for the EEOC’s Milwaukee Area Office, added, “No one should have to go to work every day wondering whether he or she will have to put up with sexual harassment. Through our enforcement of the country’s workplace laws, we ensure that all workers can succeed or fail on their own merits in an environment free from discrimination and harassment.”
The EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination based on race, color, gender (including sexual harassment and pregnancy), religion, national origin, age, disability, and retaliation. Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.