Safelite to Pay $50,000 to Settle Sexual Harassment
December 6, 2012
by Casey Neeley, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a Consent
Decree yesterday effectively closing the EEOC and Lee Lavierre-Steele
v. Safelite Glass Corp. sexual harassment case filed more than two
years ago. The court documents announce the settlement agreement
reached between the EEOC and Safelite. In the decree, Safelite agrees
to pay Lavierre-Steele $50,000 in settlement claims.
According to a release issued by the EEOC, "In addition to paying
Lee Laraviere-Steele monetary damages, the consent decree settling
the suit requires Safelite to provide annual training on sex discrimination
and retaliation, post a notice concerning employees' rights under
Title VII, and provide periodic reports to the EEOC concerning how
the company responded to complaints that it received, if any, concerning
inappropriate sexual conduct in the workplace. Safelite must also
provide periodic reports to the EEOC concerning how it responded
to any complaints it received about any other type of discrimination
covered by Title VII."
"Once an employee complains about sexual harassment by a supervisor
in the workplace, the employer is required under federal law to
take appropriate action to stop it," says Lynette A. Barnes, regional
attorney of the EEOC's Charlotte District. "Also, employers must
ensure that employees are protected from retaliation after complaints
"As the case has settled, we want our associates to know that we
take accusations of sexual harassment very seriously," says Safelite
spokesperson Melina Metzger. "We have a firm commitment to the law
and workplace ethics and encourage all employees to use our alternative
third-party ethics hotline to report any concerns."
A final scheduled pretrial conference originally had been scheduled
for December 7, 2012 at 2 p.m. The parties first filed a
joint motion for settlement conference in September.
In the suit
filed August 6, 2010, the EEOC alleges that Laraviere-Steele, who
worked as a human resources assistant in the company's Enfield,
N.C., manufacturing and distribution facility, was subjected to
sexual harassment from March 2007 until March 2008 by the facility's
male human resources (HR) manager. In addition, Laraviere-Steele
and her husband, Darrell, had intervened
in the case as plaintiffs and had filed a complaint that also
listed Laraviere-Steele's former supervisor, Gregory Byrd, as a
Safelite officials objected
to the suit after filing and have worked to close the matter. Safelite
claimed that the case did not qualify under the applicable statute
of limitations and the doctrines of waiver, estoppel, unclean hands,
preemption and laches. In addition, the company claims that both
EEOC and Laraviere-Steele "failed to exhaust their administrative
Earlier this year the EEOC opposed a motion
for summary judgment filed by Safelite. The court denied that
motion, but dismissed Laraviere-Steele's "claim for wrongful discharge
against defendant Byrd and her claims for intentional and negligent
infliction of emotional distress against both defendants."
"We are pleased that all claims against Byrd were dismissed by
the judge earlier this year," Metzger says.
This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/glassBYTEs.com™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
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