Mattress company agrees to fines and changes after EEOC claim

Sealy Mattress is often synonymous with a restful night. However, after an investigation into an EEOC claim, the company is looking at making some changes in the way employees are treated. California companies may also face these claims in the event that an employee has been the victim of discrimination in one form or another.

The bedding manufacturer was accused of subjecting two racial groups to harassment practices. According to the complaints that the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission received, other employees engaged in demeaning and hateful practices, especially toward Hispanic and black employees. Some of those cruel practices involved the use of hoods and other implements associated with members of the Ku Klux Klan. Approximately 27 employees suffered harassment.

Along with the harassment, several employees claimed that they were denied advancement in the company based on their race. Sealy representatives agreed to pay an estimated $175,000 in fines and conduct retraining exercises for all employees in an effort to prevent further instances of discrimination. The EEOC did find sufficient evidence that current practices were in violation of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

Along with the aforementioned actions, the St. Paul-based company also provided a tip line for employees to report any new incidences of suspected discrimination or harassment practices. California workers who also believe they have been a victim of harassment or discrimination are assured of the right to file an EEOC claim. In addition to this action, they may likewise seek the advice of an employment law professional in order to ensure that these claims are handled in an efficient and timely manner as possible.

Source: kstp.com, "Sealy Agrees to Pay $175K to Resolve Harassment Claims", April 20, 2017

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