Schwan's fighting record release related to harassment claim


Schwan's is resisting turning over personnel records to a St. Paul court demanded by a woman who claims she was sexually harassed and discriminated against by the company's management because she is a woman. The Marshall-based frozen foods company has gone so far as to call the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) investigation of the woman's claims, as the Star Tribune reports, "overly burdensome" and "an impermissible abuse of its investigative authority."

It all started more than two years ago when the woman filed a complaint with the EEOC saying company managers began harassing her shortly after her hire by making sexual comments to her and exchanging "offensive" emails and then laughing off her complaints about them. According to the Strib, when the woman was subsequently told that she would not be able to graduate from the management training program she was enrolled in, she quit rather than take a lower-paying job.

The EEOC has said it is unable to make a determination in the matter unless it knows more about the company's leadership, including their genders and dates of hire. Makes sense. One commenter to the Strib article, "formerschwan," says he knows exactly what they records would indicate:

Schwan's knows that by releasing the records it will show they discriminate against women in their hiring, especially in the field. As a male participant in that program, I saw how that happened every day. His comment about how they wouldn't hire a woman into the program and then exclude her from it is actually exactly what they did. Corporate would hire them and the field management would never want them. I was told by many of the Regional VP's that they would never hire a woman out of the program.

Resolution of the matter remains pending. A St. Paul magistrate judge has taken the matter under advisement.