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Tennessee motorists who own Ford vehicles may be interested to learn that the car manufacturer agreed to a $10.1 million settlement after a group of workers at two plants were reportedly subjected to sexual and racial harassment. The two plants are located in the Chicago area.

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated that female and African-American employees were singled out for harassment or discrimination. When these employees complained about the harassment or discrimination, they were reportedly retaliated against. Those who were potentially eligible for a portion of the settlement were either African-American men or women.

The Detroit-based automaker stated that the company completed its own investigation and took disciplinary action. Ultimately, Ford voluntarily settled with the EEOC without admitting liability. According to the EEOC, the automaker also agreed to monitor the workforce when allegations of racial or sexual harassment are made, to report to the EEOC when complaints arise and conduct regular training at the two plants involved in the settlement.

Employees have the right to a workplace that is free from sexual harassment and discrimination. However, some company work cultures can encourage this type of behavior by failing to investigate the allegations or by retaliating against the employee making the complaints. In these situations, an employee could potentially have a viable claim against the employer. If there is evidence to back up the claim, such as a suggestive email or text, an employment rights attorney may advocate on behalf of the employee by seeking a favorable resolution. The initial step could be the filing of a claim with the EEOC.

Source: USA Today, “Ford to pay up to $10.1M to settle harassment allegations,” Brent Snavely, Aug. 18, 2017