Taking Action in Chicago
We have investigated and taken action in response to complaints we have received of harassment and discrimination at our Chicago plants. Regrettably, some of the alleged misconduct was true. As Ford President and CEO Jim Hackett indicated in his open letter issued earlier this year, we are deeply disappointed that at any time any of our employees may have thought that harassing conduct was acceptable behavior, and we are sorry for any instance where an employee was subjected to harassment or discriminatory conduct. We are intent on rooting out this conduct and handling it appropriately.
In addition, starting more than two years ago, we have taken further actions at our Chicago plants to reinforce our policies and to ensure an appropriate workplace there. Those actions include conducting more than 20,000 hours of training for all hourly and salaried employees to reinforce a standard of respect that is non-negotiable, as well as providing additional leadership and diversity training for all salaried employees and delivering additional training for our human resources teams. We have also increased human resources staff to provide additional investigations support and oversight, including a staff member who oversees investigations at both plants and reports directly to Personnel Relations at Ford headquarters in Dearborn.
Further, last summer, we entered a substantial agreement with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) to address the complaints that were raised at our Chicago area plants, institute further changes in the workplace and provide meaningful relief to employees who are determined to have experienced harassment. We have agreed to pay up to $10.125 million to resolve claims through the claims process, under which employees will receive a financial award if an independent panel agrees with their harassment or discrimination complaint. If there is money remaining, we will use it for equal employment opportunity purposes, such as training. We are actively working with the EEOC right now to implement that agreement, which also establishes the panel of three independent monitors, none of whom work at Ford, to oversee compliance related to harassment and discrimination for the next five years.