As long as companies keep making these kinds of brainless mistakes, retaliation will remain the most commonly filed claim with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
$500,000 for illegal request
Chemical company BASF has settled a retaliation lawsuit for a whopping $500,000 after allegedly forcing employees to choose between signing away their civil rights or losing their jobs.
A longtime employee at the company’s Kankakee, IL, facility claimed that the company tried to force him to sign a “last-chance agreement” in order to keep his job.
The agreement would have prohibited him from filing bias charges against the company, including for events that hadn’t happened yet.
The employee refused to sign, and was subsequently fired.
Five other employees were also allegedly retaliated against when they chose to sign the agreement rather than lose their jobs.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filed suit against BASF on the employees’ behalf. BASF decided to settle.
In addition to the monetary settlement, the chemical company will:
- report all retaliation complaints at the Kankakee facility to the EEOC for two years
- train employees on what’s prohibited under non-discrimination law, and
- adopt a new policy informing staff of their right to oppose unlawful bias without fear of retaliation.
They were fired a week after complaining
Tennessee automobile dealership Cappo Management was also on the wrong end of a retaliation suit recently, under very different circumstances.
According to the lawsuit, three women in the company’s sales department complained of sexual harassment at the hands of the sales manager. A week later, they were all fired, supposedly for poor performance.
When the EEOC filed suit on the women’s behalf, the company decided to settle for $85,000.
Cappo also agreed to:
- maintain a written policy against harassment and retaliation
- communicate the policy to employees
- conduct training on appropriate responses to claims of retaliation, and
- post a notice saying that Cappo doesn’t tolerate or condone retaliation.