A federal court jury reportedly has awarded $2.355 million to three saleswomen who accused an Illinois trucking company of subjecting them to sexual harassment and retaliation. The Chicago Tribune reported the jury’s award included punitive damages in the amount of $2.05 million and compensatory damages in the amount of $245,000, and that one woman also was awarded $60,000 to compensate her for expenses in defending a lawsuit filed against her by Custom Companies.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged that the three female sales representatives were subjected to unwelcome groping, lewd sexual language, sexual propositions and pornography, and that one was sued by Custom Companies in the Illinois state court because she complained to EEOC, according to the Tribune.
In addition, EEOC alleged that female sales representatives were expected to entertain Custom Companies customers and potential clients at a strip club in Chicago, the Tribune reported; EEOC also said that the chief executive of Custom Companies also had an ownership interest in and was the chief executive of the strip club.
An attorney for the company told the Tribune that the company continues to deny the allegations and would appeal. EEOC noted that the maximum amount which may be recovered on any particular claim in such cases is $300,000 and that, therefore, certain of the awards made by the jury may be reduced in subsequent proceedings before the judge.