Dial Cleans Up Its Act

May 28, 2004 (PLANSPONSOR.com) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) says The Dial Corporation's first annual report of the court-appointed Consent Decree Monitor shows the consumer-products company is squeaky clean of sexual harassment activity.

“All evidence available to us shows that sexual harassment and related retaliation are not significant problems in the plant at the present time,” the monitor’s report stated. Further, the report said, “if incidents do occur and are brought to management’s attention, they will be dealt with promptly and appropriately.”

The report was stipulated in the Consent Decree Dial and the EEOC entered into in April 29, 2003 to settle the EEOC’s “pattern or practice” sexual harassment case against the manufacturer’s facility in far west-suburban Montgomery, Illinois (see Dial Sex Harassment Trial Set to Get Underway ). The provision provided for the designation of three outside Consent Decree Monitors to make certain that the company complied with the Decree for a three-year period. In addition to requiring the annual report, the Decree awarded $10 million in damages to approximately 100 women.

In addition to finding no significant sexual harassment issues at the plant, the report said Dial had “successfully rewritten its previous policy regarding harassment, revised its complaint procedures, and had taken steps to improve supervisory accountability.” Further, the report pointed to “certain respects,” in which Dial’s sexual harassment training program had “gone well beyond” the requirements of the Decree and that the training courses were “well done.”

“What the Monitors’ report also tells us is that sexual harassment was a serious problem at Dial which required attention and correction and that the EEOC’s litigation effort was clearly necessary,” said EEOC Regional Attorney in Chicago, John Hendrickson.

The EEOC has filed the report with the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.