Ford Motor Co. will provide diversity training at its Buffalo Stamping Plant and 12 other locations under a settlement of harassment charges with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
Under the settlement announced Tuesday, Ford's approximately 2,000 workers at the plant in Hamburg will receive training by the end of next year, a company spokesman said.
The settlement resolves charges of racial and sexual harassment and retaliation at two Ford plants in Chicago. Buffalo was one of 11 sites outside Chicago picked for training under the settlement, Ford spokesman Nick Sharkey said.
"Those 11 sites were selected by Ford and the EEOC based on complaints that have been recorded from Ford employees," he said. The company expects to extend the training voluntarily to all its sites at a cost of $10 million, according to a statement.
A group of African-American employees at the Hamburg plant accused the company in 1998 of tolerating racial harassment by some supervisors. Their charges followed an employee lawsuit involving similar charges.
In Chicago, the settlement provides for a $7.5 million fund to resolve harassment complaints, sets hiring goals for women in supervisor jobs and institutes a monitoring panel to administer parts of the agreement.
"We view this agreement as a positive step forward in resolving these issues in partnership with the EEOC," said James Padilla, Ford manufacturing group vice president.
In an unrelated court case, a federal judge denied Ford's request to extend a temporary restraining order issued last week against the operator of theblueovalnews.com Web site, which Ford accused of posting company secrets.