April 12, 2011

Class Action Lawsuit Against Eaton Cites Interaction With Ombuds

Two former employees of Eaton Corp. have filed a $150 million class action gender discrimination suit alleging that they were passed over for promotions and sexually harassed by three male supervisors. The complaint filed in NY federal court describes one interaction with Eaton's "Ombuds Department" that was generally positive:

[¶ 103] In July 2008, Manager Ferrang attempted to place a Letter of Concern in Ms. Koosha’s file related to baseless accusations about her performance dating back to 2004. Concerned about the implications of this letter for her standing with the Company, Ms. Koosha contacted the Ombuds Department at Eaton. The representative at Ombuds advised her that Manager Ferrang could not put a Letter of Concern in her file because he had not fulfilled his obligation to administer a mid-year performance review. Ms. Koosha approached HR Representative Ms. Walker with this information and informed her that she had requested the mid-year performance review on numerous occasions. Upon information and belief, Manager Ferrang did not ultimately place the Letter of Concern in Ms. Koosha’s file.
This example of visitor coaching is the only reference to the Ombuds program in the complaint. An Eaton representative said the company does not comment on pending litigation. (Cleveland Plain Dealer; Gaitane v. Eaton Corp. Compliant.)

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