EEOC v. Bemis Company, Inc.

No. TH01-112-C-T/H (S.D. Ind. September 24, 2004)

The Milwaukee District Office litigated this Title VII suit alleging that African American employees were subjected to racial harassment including racial graffiti, use of racial epithets, and the display of nooses at defendant's Terre Haute, Indiana facility. Defendant is the largest manufacturer of flexible packaging material in North America, and employs 1,000 people at the Terre Haute facility. The suit was resolved by a three-year consent decree that requires defendant to pay $245,000 in compensatory damages to 22 claimants. Defendant also will allocate $55,000 to an interest bearing account for the purpose of providing rewards for information leading to the determination, termination, or criminal prosecution for future acts of racially motivated vandalism or racial harassment at the Terre Haute facility; funds remaining 90 days after expiration of the consent decree will be used for diversity training by an outside consultant that would not otherwise have been undertaken by defendant. The decree enjoins defendant from discriminating against persons on the basis of race, from creating or permitting a racially hostile work environment, and from retaliation. Defendant must report to EEOC annually on formal complaints of racial harassment and defendant's responses.

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