February 27, 2007

FEDERAL JUDGE APPROVES $5 MILLION DISCRIMINATION SETTLEMENT AGAINST WOODWARD GOVERNOR

The EEOC has announced that a federal judge has given final approval to a $5 million settlement resolving two consolidated class action employment discrimination lawsuits against Colorado-based Woodward Governor.

The first class action lawsuit (Bell, et al v. Woodward Governor) was filed on May 8, 2003 by a group of employees alleging discrimination against African-Americans, Hispanics and Asians at its Rockford and Rockton, Illinois facilities with respect to pay, promotions and training. The second lawsuit (EEOC v. Woodward Governor Company) was filed by the EEOC on October 4, 2006 affirming the same charges and adding a discrimination charge against women, which also violates the Equal Pay Act.

The $5 million settlement will be shared between minority employees who worked at the Rockford or Rockton plants since May 1999 ($2.4 million) and by female employees who worked at these plants since June 2002 ($2.6 million).

The settlement also calls for extensive non-monetary relief that requires Woodward to take steps including:

  • Utilize an industrial/organizational psychologist to perform an analysis of production jobs that were at issue in the suit;
  • Develop written job descriptions for those jobs;
  • Develop a performance appraisal and compensation review process;
  • Review the job assignments of its current production employees and adjust them as necessary based on the new job descriptions;
  • Implement a procedure for investigating discrimination complaints;
  • Provide training to employees regarding its anti-discrimination policy and complaint procedure; and,
  • Report semi-annually to Nancy B. Kreiter of Chicago, the EEOC, and plaintiffs’ counsel regarding promotion decisions, compensation changes, and job training offered to employees. Kreiter was appointed to oversee and assist in Woodward’s implementation of and compliance with the consent decree.
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