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Minnesota Department of Human Rights Sues Printing Company for Failing to Stop a Supervisor from Repeatedly Sexually Harassing and Assaulting Two Employees

Sheridan promoted a supervisor despite knowing he sexually harassed and assaulted employees

[St. Paul, MN] The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) today filed a lawsuit in Minnesota’s Ninth Judicial District Court against Sheridan, formerly known as Bang Printing, for violating Minnesota’s civil rights law. MDHR found that Sheridan, located in Brainerd, failed to meaningfully stop a supervisor from using his position of power to repeatedly sexually harass and assault two employees.

In filing this lawsuit, MDHR is seeking structural change so that all employees at Sheridan are provided a work environment that is free from sexual harassment and assault.

“Sheridan knew a supervisor was sexually harassing and assaulting its employees and, through willful inaction, gave this supervisor a license to sexually harass its employees,” said Minnesota Department of Human Rights Commissioner Rebecca Lucero. “There cannot be a meaningful end to sexual harassment when those who are in positions of power to end it deliberately do nothing. That is why our Department will use the full power of Minnesota’s civil rights law to push employers to be active participants in addressing and preventing sexual harassment from occurring in the first place.”

“We’re pursuing this lawsuit because we hope it makes a difference in preventing sexual harassment and assault from occurring in the future,” said the two employees.

The names of the two employees are anonymous to protect their identities.

Lawsuit Facts

In June 2020, a Sheridan supervisor began sexually harassing and assaulting two employees. This included regular unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted touching, and offensive comments.

In July 2020, one of the employees filed a complaint against the supervisor, but Sheridan did nothing. Sheridan failed to initiate an investigation, discipline the supervisor, or put any measures in place to prevent further harassment from occurring. As a result, Sheridan allowed the sexual harassment and assault to continue.

In October 2020, the second employee quit because the harassment and assault continued, and because Sheridan would not stop it.

In January 2021, despite knowing that the supervisor sexually harassed and assaulted employees, Sheridan promoted the supervisor. Upon learning this, the first employee submitted another complaint. Only then did Sheridan act by issuing a verbal warning to the supervisor. Sheridan took no further action. The verbal warning proved to be ineffective because the supervisor continued to sexually harass the employee.

In May 2021, MDHR informed Sheridan that charges of discrimination were filed against the company by both employees and that MDHR would launch a neutral investigation into allegations of a workplace culture that allowed the sexual harassment and assault to occur.

Only after MDHR informed Sheridan of this investigation did the company launch its own investigation into the supervisor’s behavior. In July 2021, Sheridan fired the supervisor.

In January 2023, after a neutral investigation, MDHR found Sheridan violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act. Attempts to resolve the case with Sheridan were unsuccessful, which is why MDHR filed this lawsuit.

In filing, MDHR wants to ensure Sheridan employees are provided a work environment that is free from sexual harassment and assault. MDHR is also requesting that Sheridan pay the two employees for damages.

The employees are represented by Raboin & Francis Law Firm.

Sheridan is owned by CJK Group, Inc., is formerly now known as Bang Printing, and operates as D. & J. Printing.

Sexual Harassment and Assault Cases

MDHR has enforced the Minnesota Human Rights Act in numerous sexual harassment and assault cases. For example, MDHR reached a consent decree with a McDonald’s franchisee, a settlement agreement with a charter school, and a settlement agreement with University of Minnesota Board of Regents.

How to Report Discrimination

If you believe you have been discriminated against, contact the Minnesota Department of Human Rights by submitting this online form.

The Minnesota Department of Human Rights is the state’s civil rights enforcement agency and is responsible for enforcing the Minnesota Human Rights Act, one of the strongest state civil rights laws in the country.


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