According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the company refused to promote a woman and instead promoted other, less-qualified male candidates. When Hanna Hurst applied for the promotion and then complained, Northern Star created additional qualifications for her to complete. But the company exempted male employees from these tests. In addition to paying money, Northern Star must adhere to a long-term consent agreement that will insure equal opportunities for promotion for females.
“Gender bias continues to be a problem in today’s workplace, certainly no less in those industries traditionally dominated by men,” said EEOC Seattle Field Director Nancy Sienko. “We commend Northern Star as the new successor company for demonstrating its commitment to see such discrimination doesn’t continue under its leadership.”
“Sexual harassment and retaliation are some of the most common employment discrimination claims in Illinois,” observed Chicago employment discrimination lawyers Arthur R Ehrlich and Jonathan C. Goldman. “These problems are extremely widespread, and they are also relatively easy to prove in court.”
Repeated touching to the point where it is clearly not accidental may also be enough, especially when inappropriate jokes are common. The employer’s failure to investigate a complaint or take action to stop harassment by co-workers will strengthen a sexual harassment case. A failure to conduct an adequate and diligent investigations happens all too frequently, especially in mining, construction, and other male-dominated industries. Post-complaint investigations must be done immediately, and should be comprehensive, and transparent.
Statistically, the EEOC usually handles more retaliation claims than anything else. This includes retaliation for making a complaint for sexual harassment.