Final Payments Made in $8 Million Decree in Sexual Harassment Case

Thursday, March 13, 2014

International Services, Inc. (ISI), formerly known as International Profit Associates, Inc. (IPA), based in Buffalo Grove, Ill., last week funded a final mailing of  checks to 82 women whom the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) said were victims of egregious sexual harassment at the company.  

The payment was provided for by a consent decree resolving the EEOC's long-running sexual harassment case against the company, which was filed in federal court in Chicago on June 12, 2001 under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  (EEOC v. International Profit Associates, N.D. Ill. No. 01-CV-4427).  The parties agreed to the court's entry of the decree just as the trial was set to begin, on June 6, 2010.  Under the decree, ISI was required to pay $8 million in installments to the harassment victims.  The average of all payments per victim was approximately $100,000, and the last checks were mailed March 7, 2014.

In addition to the requirement that the company provide monetary relief for the victims, the consent decree included injunctions against sexual harassment and retaliation, and a series of measures designed to promote the eradication of harassment and increase the accountability of managers. It also required that ISI pay for two outside independent monitors, Nancy Kreiter and George Galland, to review policies and practices with respect to sexual harassment, evaluate the implementation of those policies and practices, assess the company's compliance with the training, prevention, and other measures being imposed, accept complaints of sexual harassment from employees, and report to the EEOC and the court.

The final report issued by the compliance monitors, Kreiter and Galland, was filed in federal district court on March 10, 2014, and describes a company transformed as a result of the lawsuit.  The report describes "drastic improvements in the workplace environment."  The newly revamped human resources department at the company is described by employees interviewed by the monitors as "proactive with clear standards, policies and procedures to follow, highly professional, accessible, responsive and markedly changed for the best."

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