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S.D. social services agency to pay to resolve EEOC charges


The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said Tuesday a South Dakota social services agency will pay $320,000 to voluntarily resolve sexual harassment and retaliation charges.

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

The EEOC said the harassment continued over several years despite complaints to management and the board of directors.

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

In addition to paying the $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 the agency avoided protracted litigation by resolving the matter through the conciliation 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 resolve disability, pregnancy and retaliation discrimination charges.