$370,000 Settlement in Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit Against HoneyBaked Ham Co. of Georgia, Training Ordered

Monday, July 1, 2013
Question:  Would sexual harassment training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

The Original HoneyBaked Ham Company of Georgia, based in Alpharetta, Ga., will pay $370,000 and furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit. 

According to the EEOC's suit, female HoneyBaked Ham employees in Colorado stores were subjected to sexual harassment and were fired or otherwise retaliated against if they complained. The lawsuit springs from the charge of discrimination brought to the EEOC by Wendy Cabrera, a former supervisor in the Highlands Ranch, Colo., store.  The EEOC charged that Cabrera and other female employees were harassed, but when she reported her complaint up the chain of command and to HoneyBaked Ham headquarters in Georgia, she was terminated.  

Sexual harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed suit in U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado (EEOC v. The Original HoneyBaked Ham Company of Georgia, Inc., Case No. 1:11-cv-02560-MSK-MEH) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.

HoneyBaked Ham has agreed to pay $370,000 to Cabrera and a class of female employees to resolve this case.  The company entered into a consent decree and agreed to ensure that all of its employees are trained on sexual harassment and the anti-retaliation provisions of Title VII, and managers are additionally to receive training on handling sexual harassment and how to respond to complaints.  HoneyBaked Ham will also report to the EEOC on gender discrimination, including sexual harassment complaints in Colorado during the decree's duration.

The EEOC has seen retaliation complaints become the most prevalent kind of charge filed with the EEOC over the last two years -- in fiscal year 2012, 38.1% of the charges filed with the EEOC were retaliation charges. 

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