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A class action sexual harassment lawsuit is brought against Ford

Every person in the workplace should be mindful of his or her behavior. Certain actions are offensive and can be considered to be sexual harassment. Texas employees who speak out about such behavior expect it to cease, but some companies choose not to handle these situations properly and may inadvertently allow the harassment to continue.

A group of women who worked at Ford's South Side factory are claiming that they consistently found themselves in a hostile work environment. The class action lawsuit, representing more than 20 women, is accusing the company of allowing them to be subject to various types of sexual harassment. Among other complaints, the plaintiffs state that they were touched inappropriately and without their consent, and were subjected to lewd language.

According to the complaint, the women's supervisors would grab them and touch them on their thighs and arms. While working, some of the male co-workers would expose themselves or create phallic symbols with work materials, which they would then either throw at the women or place on their work benches. The plaintiffs allege that they were discouraged from using the harassment hotline to complain, and, after filing complaints with the EEOC, they received disciplinary action and were terminated.

Even though this is not the first time that a sexual harassment claim has been filed against Ford, the company insists that it believes in fostering a safe work environment for all of its employees. The women hope to end the discrimination and harassment, as well as have the situation monitored for continued compliance for a minimum of five years. The claimants are also seeking to be awarded lost wages, back pay and compensatory damages.

Texas employees who find themselves in similar situations should follow their companies' protocols for resolution. If an agreeable solution is not reached, a worker may choose to file a claim against his or her employer. If successfully navigated, he or she may be awarded financial relief according to the individual circumstances of the case.

Source: nwitimes.com, "Lawsuit charges sexual harassment at Chicago Assembly Plant", Joseph S. Pete, Nov. 3, 2014

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