Press Release 07-15-2011

Federal Court Enters Consent Decree Resolving EEOC Lawsuit Against Richardson Industries

Woman Fired After Supervisors Reported She Had Been Harassed, Federal Agency Says

MILWAUKEE  – A federal district  court judge in Milwaukee has entered a consent  decree resolving an employment discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) against a major Wisconsin building products  company, the agency announced today.

The EEOC had charged that Sheboygan Falls,  Wis.-based Richardson Industries, Inc., doing business as Richco Structures, violated federal law when it fired employee  Morgan Rae Brocker after supervisors allegedly reported to management that  another Richco supervisor had sexually harassed Brocker at the company's  Christmas party in December 2005.

Such alleged conduct violates Title  VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The  EEOC filed suit (EEOC v. Richardson Industries, Inc., d/b/a Richco Structures, Civil Action No. 2:10-C-0505) in  U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Wisconsin on June 18, 2010,  after first trying to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its  conciliation process.

The decree entered yesterday, July  14, by U.S. District Judge Charles  Clevert prohibits future discrimination and provides that Richco will pay Brocker $22,500 and  train its managers and supervisors on employers' obligations and the rights of  employees under Title VII.

"Retaliation complaints have been  the fastest-increasing type of complaint filed with the EEOC over the past 10 years,"  said John C. Hendrickson, regional attorney of the EEOC's Chicago District  Office, which is responsible for EEOC litigation in Wisconsin. "Sometimes we need to reinforce through  litigation the message not to fire workers after they, or others, report that  job discrimination has occurred. We  appreciate Richco's willingness to provide relief for Ms. Brocker and to ensure  that such misconduct does not recur."

The case was litigated by Senior  Trial Attorney Dennis R. McBride  of the EEOC's Milwaukee Area Office.

According to company information, Richardson  Industries, Inc. is a privately held corporation with several different  divisions devoted to furniture and woodworking.  The company's website states that Richco Structures, which is located in  Sheboygan Falls, Haven and De Pere, Wis., and is part of the company's  Richardson Building Products division, "is one of the Midwest's largest  manufacturers of custom fabricated wood roof trusses, floor trusses, and wall  components, as well as a distributor of engineered wood products for the  construction industry."

The EEOC's Chicago District Office is responsible for processing  discrimination charges, administrative enforcement, and the conduct of agency  litigation in Illinois, Minnesota,  Wisconsin, Iowa,  North Dakota and South  Dakota, with Area Offices in Milwaukee  and Minneapolis.

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