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EEOC: Racine Company Settles Lawsuit Alleging Discrimination

Jan 29, 2004 | AP

Johnson Financial Group will pay a woman $450,000 to settle a discrimination lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Tuesday.

The commission, which had sued the Racine company last year, accused the firm of withdrawing a job offer made to Rae Ann Good after executives learned she was pregnant. The company had offered Good a $170,000-a-year job as an executive vice president in 2002, according to the lawsuit.

The lawsuit, filed in U.S. District Court in Milwaukee, claimed the company violated Good's civil rights.

The company, formerly called Johnson International Inc., said in a statement it does not discriminate in its business and knew Good was pregnant when the job offer was made. The company would not say why its executives withdrew the offer.

"We routinely hire and employ women who are pregnant and we have a stellar track record of professional advancement for women and all associates who work at Johnson International," the company said in the statement.

The company said it believes it would have prevailed had the lawsuit gone forward but felt it was more important to focus its resources on its clients and resources.

Under the settlement, the company was ordered not to discriminate on the basis of pregnancy and to report to the EEOC about women applicants for executive jobs for the next two years, according to the EEOC.

Johnson Financial, a financial services firm, is part of the Johnson family enterprises, which also include household product maker SC Johnson, Johnson Outdoors and JohnsonDiversey.

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