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Press Release 12-16-2020

Harley-Davidson Dealership to Pay $193,750 to Settle EEOC Sex Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit

Glenview Dealership Subjected Female Employee to Sex Harassment and Retaliatory Termination, Federal Agency Charged

CHICAGO – Three companies operating a now-closed Harley-Davidson dealership in Glenview, Ill., have agreed to pay a former employee $193,750 and furnish other relief under a consent decree rather than face trial for the employee’s sex harassment and retaliatory firing claims in a case brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.

The EEOC charged that managers and coworkers at the dealership subjected a female employee to constant sex harassment and retaliated against her after she complained. The sex harassment included repeated propositions for sex, constant commentary on her body, including requests to wear more re­vealing work apparel, and sharing numerous, unwanted and graphic sexual images and videos.

Additionally, the employee alleged that because she complained, the dealership moved her start time in a way that interfered with her childcare schedule, and then fired her for fabricated reasons.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC and the employee filed suit in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois (EEOC, et al. v. DP Fox Ventures, LLC; Fox Glenview, LLC; and Fox Illinois Staffing, LLC) in February 2020 after first attempting to reach a settlement through the EEOC’s pre-lawsuit conciliation process. The defendants agreed to settle the lawsuit prior to the parties engaging in discovery.

Under the two-year consent decree settling the suit, agreed to by the parties and entered by the court, the former employee will receive $193,750. The decree mandates harassment prevention policies and training on Title VII’s prohibitions on sex harassment and retaliation, and periodic reporting to the EEOC of sex discrimination complaints received during the duration of the decree.

“No one should be subjected to the kind of harassment this woman faced, and no one should be terminated for having the courage to report it,” said Gregory Gochanour, the EEOC's regional attorney in Chicago. “The EEOC is glad that a fair outcome was reached quickly for the victim and that these defendants will likely pay more attention to protecting their employees from sex harassment and retaliation moving forward.”

Julianne Bowman, the EEOC's district director in Chicago, added, “The EEOC continues to receive thousands of claims of sexual harassment annually. Sex harassment interferes with workers’ ability to succeed, as does the termination of workers who have the temerity to complain. The agency is determined to eradicate sex discrimination and hopes this case will serve as a warning to employers to monitor their workplaces for harassment and respond appropriately to complaints.”

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

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employ­ment discrimin­ation. More information is available on its website at Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.