More than 30 women have joined a federal lawsuit against Ford Motor Company which alleges that female employees were sexually harassed at two Ford assembly plants on the south side of Chicago. The suit alleges that female employees were subjected to a hostile work environment, including unwanted sexual advances, touching and groping. The suit also alleges that the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission conducted an investigation and found that several women were sexually harassed and subjected to gender discrimination.
There are two types of sexual harassment: (1) hostile work environment, and (2) quid pro quo. A hostile work environment involves workplace conduct or behavior of a sexual nature that is both subjectively offensive to the employee and objectively offensive to an employee with ordinary sensibilities. The sexually offensive conduct must be severe or pervasive. Quid pro quo sexual harassment is when a supervisor or manager requests sexual favors or a sexual relationship from a subordinate employee in exchange for favorable workplace treatment or decisions affecting the terms or conditions of the employee’s employment. The request for sexual favors does not have to be explicit or posed in terms of an offer. It can be implied through subtleties.