EEOC and Safelite Schedule Final Pretrial Conference
October 25, 2012

by Casey Neeley,

In the wake of a recently filed notice of hearing for trial, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and Safelite Glass Corp. have notified the United States District Court of Eastern North Carolina of a final scheduled pretrial conference. The settlement conference is scheduled for December 7, 2012 at 2 p.m. As a result of the newly scheduled settlement conference, trial for the case has been pushed back to January 14, 2013 at 10 a.m.

The parties originally filed a joint motion for settlement conference in September. If both parties are unable to reach an agreement, the rescheduled jury trial will commence in January.

In the suit filed August 6, 2010, the EEOC alleges that Lee 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 defendant.

Safelite officials objected to the suit after filing and have worked to close the matter. Safelite previously 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 remedies."
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 Gregory K. Byrd and her claims for intentional and negligent infliction of emotional distress against both defendants."

Safelite spokesperson Melina Metzger previously told™/AGRR™ magazine, "While we cannot generally comment on legal or HR matters, the court has dismissed all individual claims against Byrd. We continue to vehemently defend the remaining claims against Safelite in this suit. These accusations are not taken lightly; we have a firm commitment to the law and workplace ethics.”

Counsel for the EEOC had not responded to requests for comment at the time of press.

This story is an original story by AGRR™ magazine/™. Subscribe to AGRR™ Magazine.
Subscribe to receive the free e-newsletter.