Ford to pay $10.1 million to settle sexual, racial harassment charges

Brent Snavely
Detroit Free Press
The Ford logo is shown on display at the Pittsburgh International Auto Show in Pittsburgh on Feb. 22, 2016.

Ford has agreed to pay up to $10.1 million to settle sexual and racial harassment charges for a group of workers at two plants following an investigation by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC, in a statement, said employees at two Ford plants in the Chicago area — the Chicago Assembly Plant and the Chicago Stamping Plant — subjected female and African-American employees to sexual and racial harassment.

The EEOC also said employees at  the company retaliated against employees who complained about the harassment or discrimination.

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A spokeswoman for the agency declined to say how many employees were subjected to the harassment, when the harassment occurred or provide any additional details about the case.

Ford said it chose to voluntarily settle the allegations "without any admission of liability with the EEOC to avoid an extended dispute."

The Dearborn automaker also said it conducted its own investigation "and took appropriate action, including disciplinary action up to and including dismissal for individuals who violated the company’s anti-harassment policy."

Ford also declined to clarify what  happened or how many employees were subjected to the harassment. The automaker did say the group of employees eligible for settlement money are either women or African-American men who began working at the plant after Jan. 1, 2010.

Ford employs a total of 5,500 workers at the two plants.

The EEOC said Ford also agreed to:

  • Conduct regular training at the two Chicago-area facilities.
  • Continue to distribute anti-harassment and anti-discrimination policies and procedures to employees and new hires.
  • Report to the EEOC regarding complaints of harassment and/or related discrimination.
  • Monitor its workforce regarding issues of alleged sexual or racial harassment and related discrimination.

Contact Brent Snavely: 313-222-6512 or