Forest River Inc. President Pete Liegl said the company will appeal the $320,000 judgment against the firm in a sexual harassment case, according to the Goshen News of Goshen, Ind.
A U.S. District Court jury in South Bend, Ind., on Friday (Nov. 16) ordered Forest River, based in Goshen, to pay $320,000 in compensatory and punitive damages to former employee Dawn Beard.
Beard, of LaGrange County, Ind., worked in the final finish department of a Forest River plant in Goshen. She claimed a male foreman harassed her before she quit during July 1999.
Liegl said the company will appeal because the employee allegedly involved was not a supervisor and that Beard did not mention a sexual harassment claim during a meeting he had with her during August 1999.
Liegl added that Beard was re-hired by Forest River, but she quit her job two months later.
The Indiana Equal Employment Opportunity Commission investigated the matter, and its conclusion was “no harm, no foul,” Liegl told the newspaper.
Last month, another RV manufacturer, Coachmen Industries Inc., paid $57,500 for a settlement to a separate sexual harassment claim which was filed by a former employee and also was pending in federal court in South Bend, according to the South Bend Tribune.
The plaintiff in the suit against Coachmen was Linda McFarland, a former employee of Coachmen’s van conversion operation in Elkhart, Ind., which Coachmen sold last year.
Coachmen said the offending employee was fired within one day after McFarland brought the situation to light. However, McFarland said Coachmen fired the employee for being drunk and cursing a supervisor, not because of her harassment claim, she told the Tribune.