Mueller Co. and IH Services Settle EEOC: Mueller Co., a major player in gas and water distribution products, along with IH Services, a cleaning services provider at Mueller facilities, are settling allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation for a sum of $150,000, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced.
The lawsuit revealed that three female janitors assigned by IH Services to Mueller’s Albertville, Alabama plant faced solicitation for sex, exposure of genitals, and inappropriate sexual comments from male Mueller employees. The harassment escalated to an attempted rape. When the women reported the incidents, IH Services responded with retaliation, reducing their hours, assigning overnight shifts, and even suspending or terminating them.
This behavior is a violation of Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits a hostile work environment based on sex and retaliation against those reporting such violations. The EEOC filed a lawsuit after attempting to settle through voluntary conciliation.
Under a three-year consent decree, both companies will pay monetary relief to the victims and revise and prominently display their sexual harassment and retaliation policies. They will also conduct annual training on these policies and employee rights under Title VII.
“Under Title VII, employers must provide a workplace free from severe or pervasive sexual harassment,” emphasized EEOC Birmingham District Director Bradley Anderson. “Companies like Mueller do not get a free pass when its employees harass individuals who are employed by another company. Likewise, employers like IH Services are liable for sex harassment of their employees even when the harasser is not its employee.”