Ford Settles Another Employment Suit

December 24, 2001 ( Ford Motor has agreed to a $300,000 settlement of an employment-related racial harassment suit, according to the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC). It was the second employment-related settlement in a week for the automaker.

The automaker has agreed to pay the settlement to 23 black plant workers who filed a federal suit, according to a statement from the EEOC. The workers said that a white co-worker hung hangman’s nooses on his forklift, ‘mocked what he considered to be African-American styles of speech and manner of walking,’ and used ‘insulting language,’ according to the complaint.

The white employee in question was suspended without pay for a month this fall and has since retired from the company, Ford spokeswoman Anne Marie Gattari told the Associated Press on Friday. The impacted workers were all employed at Ford’s New Model Development Center in Allen Park, Michigan.

Ford already requires employees to attend classes designed to prevent harassment; however, under the terms of the settlement, additional training sessions will be held for workers and supervisors at the Allen Park plant, according to the report.

Earlier this week, Ford agreed to pay $10.5 million to settle two class-action lawsuits filed by current and former employees who said a management evaluation system discriminated against older white males (see Ford Settles Appraisal System Suit ).