Concrete company Bardon Inc., trading as Aggregate Industries Inc., will pay $325,000 and furnish significant remedial relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced on October 7. Aggregate, an internationally owned ready-mix concrete company with operations in the United States and United Kingdom, has corporate offices in Greenbelt, Md.
In its suit, (Civil Action No. 8:08-cv-1883-RWT) filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, the EEOC charged that Aggregate created and maintained a sexually hostile work environment for Ora L. Borrell – the only female quality control technician employed at the company. The EEOC charged that the incidents of sexual harassment included repeated public urination in her presence, overt and explicit sexual comments and requests, touching and grabbing against her will and other sexually offensive conduct while on the job. Borrell’s managers were aware of the offensive conduct, having witnessed some incidents and through her complaints. Borrell was subsequently fired by the company’s human resources department in retaliation for opposing these discriminatory practices.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits sexual harassment and retaliation for resisting such harassment and complaining about it. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement.
In addition to the monetary relief to Borrell, which represents back wages and compensatory damages, the consent decree settling the suit provides significant remedial relief. Aggregate:
“Sexual harassment continues to be a persistent problem 45 years after the enactment of Title VII, which prohibits gender discrimination in employment,” said EEOC regional attorney Debra M. Lawrence. “Workers should not be subjected to this type of conduct or lose their livelihood when they complain about it.”
According to its Web site, www.aggregate-us.com, Aggregate Industries is a member of the Holcim group of companies and is an international construction and building materials company in the United Kingdom and the United States, with operations ranging from the northeast to the southwest, along with the U.S. corporate office and Shared Services Center in Rockville, Maryland.
The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. Further information about the commission is available at its Web site at (www.eeoc.gov).