U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
EEOC Said Female Technician Subjected to Sexual Comments and Requests, Lewd Acts and Groping, and Fired After Complaining to Management
BALTIMORE – Concrete company Bardon, Inc., trading as Aggregate Industries, Inc., will pay $325,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. Aggregate, an internationally owned ready-mix concrete company with operations in the United States and United Kingdom, has corporate offices in Greenbelt, Md.
In its suit, (Civil Action No. 8:08-cv-1883-RWT) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the EEOC charged that Aggregate created and maintained a sexually hostile work environment for Ora L. Borrell -- the only female quality control technician employed at the company. The EEOC charged that the incidents of sexual harassment included repeated public urination in her presence, overt and explicit sexual comments and requests, touching and grabbing against her will and other sexually offensive conduct while on the job. Borrell’s managers were aware of the offensive conduct, having witnessed some incidents and through her complaints. Borrell was subsequently fired by the company’s human resources department in retaliation for opposing these discriminatory practices.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation for resisting such harassment and complaining about it. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
In addition to the monetary relief to Borrell, which represents back wages and compensatory damages, the consent decree settling the suit provides significant remedial relief. Aggregate:
is enjoined from discriminating on the basis of sex and from retaliating against any employee who complains about discriminatory practices made unlawful under Title VII or because of filing a charge, giving testimony, assistance or participating in any investigation, proceeding or hearing under Title VII;
will post a notice to employees at all its facilities concerning its commitment to maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment and retaliation for a period of five years;
will provide mandatory training to all its employees, managers and supervisors regarding federal EEO laws prohibiting discrimination in employment with emphasis on sex discrimination, harassment and retaliation;
will provide training on its equal employment opportunity policies and its sexual harassment policy to all newly-hired employees during orientation; and
agreed to monitoring by the EEOC with regard to its compliance with the provisions in the decree settling the lawsuit for five years.
“Sexual harassment continues to be a persistent problem 45 years after the enactment of Title VII, which prohibits gender discrimination in employment,” said EEOC Regional Attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “Workers should not be subjected to this type of conduct or lose their livelihood when they complain about it.”
According to its web site, www.aggregate-us.com, Aggregate Industries is a member of the Holcim group of companies and is an international construction and building materials company in the UK and the U.S., with operations ranging from the northeast to the southwest, along with the U.S. corporate office and Shared Services Center in Rockville, Maryland.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the Commission is available at its web site at (www.eeoc.gov).