Settlement Reached in Discrimination Suit

Southern Maryland Electric Cooperative (SMECO) and the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs have reached a settlement agreement on all claims in a discrimination lawsuit filed in Federal Court last year. The suit was brought by a SMECO lineman and was based primarily on allegations that SMECO engaged in behavior that violated his civil rights. SMECO did not admit liability in the matter and the case was settled out of court.

Under the publicly disclosed terms of the settlement with the Washington Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights and Urban Affairs, SMECO agrees to reaffirm its commitment to non-discrimination and non-harassment and to take steps designed to eradicate any worksite prejudice. To that end, the Cooperative will promote a message of equality, opportunity, and respect for all of its employees. It will post its non-discrimination and non-harassment policies at all of its facilities. Additionally, SMECO will make efforts to achieve greater minority representation in management and supervisory positions, as well as in the lineman’s training program. It will conduct a cultural diversity and sensitivity training program for all employees. SMECO also agrees to appoint a Discrimination Compliance Officer, who will investigate complaints of discrimination.

Mr. A. Joseph Slater, President of SMECO, said: “While we disagree with factual allegations that were made in the lawsuit, we are pleased to have resolved our differences and reached agreement on how to improve the Company’s EEO policies and practices.”

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