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SD Social Services must pay to settle EEOC charges



The US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Tuesday that a South Dakota social services agency will pay $320,000 to voluntarily settle allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation.

The agency said the executive director of the Wagner-based Rural Office of Community Services Inc., which serves low-income families and individuals at several locations in South Dakota, had harassed female employees and that some employees who complained were terminated.

The EEOC said the harassment continued for years despite complaints to management and the board.

The agency was accused of violating Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.

In addition to paying $320,000, the agency agreed to update its policies and practices regarding internal discrimination complaints, among other measures.

EEOC Chicago District Director Julianne Bowman said in a statement that the agency avoided protracted litigation by resolving the matter through the settlement process.

The agency did not respond to a request for comment.

The EEOC said last month that Circle K Stores Inc. will pay $8 million to settle charges of disability discrimination, pregnancy and retaliation.


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