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Rock-Tenn To Pay $160,000 To Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Manufacturer Failed to Stop Co-Worker’s Harassment of Women, Federal Agency Charges

LITTLE  ROCK, Ark. – Rock-Tenn Company, a packaging manufacturer  in Conway, Ark., will pay $160,000 to settle a sexual  harassment lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC’s suit (Civil Action No.  4:08-CV-3127) charged that Rock-Tenn violated federal anti-discrimination law  when it failed to take effective action to prevent the sexual harassment of  female employees by a male co-worker.  Although the company investigated the complaint, the EEOC said the  harassment continued. The EEOC also  contended that one of the women had been forced to resign due to the ongoing  harassment.

Sexual harassment violates Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The  EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Arkansas  after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its  conciliation process.

“The EEOC remains committed to  aggressively pursuing remedies for victims of sexual harassment in any work  setting,” said Regional Attorney Faye A. Williams of the EEOC’s Memphis  District Office, which has jurisdiction over Arkansas,  Tennessee, and certain counties in Mississippi. “No one, man or woman, should have to endure  such abuse in any workplace, whether factory, farm or Wall Street brokerage  firm. The women who stood up to this misconduct  have seen their courage vindicated.”

Pamela  B. Dixon, an EEOC trial attorney, added, “Even though Rock-Tenn denied that it  had violated the law, we are pleased that the parties worked cooperatively to  resolve this lawsuit.”

In addition to the monetary relief,  the consent decree settling the suit, approved by U.S. District Judge Brian S.  Miller, enjoins Rock-Tenn from further discriminating against employees at its Conway facility on the  basis of sex. Rock-Tenn will provide  sexual harassment training to all personnel and post a notice reinforcing the  company’s policies on Title VII.  Rock-Tenn will also submit reports to the EEOC for a two-year period  describing any complaints of sexual harassment, the investigation conducted by Rock-Tenn  in response to each complaint and how Rock-Tenn  resolved the complaint. Also, in the  event of a complaint of sexual harassment at the Conway facility, Rock-Tenn will retrain all  of the parties involved in the complaint on the requirements of Title VII with  regard to sexual harassment.

According to its website, Rock-Tenn  Company is one of North  America's leading manufacturers of paperboard, containerboard,  consumer and corrugated packaging.  The company’s Conway  plant manufactures consumer packaging which is primarily used for food  packaging.

The EEOC enforces federal laws  prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the EEOC is  available on its web site at