A Year After its Harassment Case, the Dial Corporation is Changing

By Staff Report

May. 31, 2004

An agreement between the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and the Dial Corporation to prevent further sexual-harassment is working, the EEOC said last week.

According to the EEOC, the three people appointed by a court to monitor Dial say, “All evidence available to us shows that sexual harassment and related retaliation are not significant problems in the plant at the present time.”

On April 29, 2003, a consent decree resolved the EEOC’s sexual-harassment case against the soap-maker. In addition to the damages it paid, Dial also had to toughen up its no-harassment policy; revise its complaint procedure to encourage employees to come forward; and make supervisors more accountable if harassment occurs among employees under their supervision.

EEOC Attorney John C. Hendrickson says that the atmosphere at the Dial Corporation has improved since allegations of harassment were reported at its Illinois plant. “…The management of any company must be dedicated to making the necessary changes and to continuously signaling in ways large and small that employees engage in sexual harassment at their peril,” Hendrickson says. “What the Dial monitors’ report tells us is that the necessary changes are being made at Dial and that the employees are understanding the signals. That is good news for everybody.”

The court monitors found that a “substantial majority of both men and women” say that there has been a change in the environment for women in the plant in recent years. A candid report on Dial’s progress is available on the EEOC’s Web site.

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