MDHR sues printing company for failure to stop supervisor's repeated sexual harassment of employees

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The Minnesota Department of Human Rights (MDHR) filed a lawsuit Thursday against a printing company in Brainerd for allegedly failing to stop a supervisor from sexually assaulting and harassing employees. 

The lawsuit claims Sheridan, a printing company formerly known as Bang Printing, violated the state’s civil rights laws for failing to protect employees from repeated sexual assault and harassment. 

According to the MDHR, the advances against two employees started in June 2020 and included "unwelcome sexual advances, unwanted touching and offensive comments" made by a supervisor.  

An employee filed a complaint against the supervisor, but MDHR said the company failed to act or investigate the claim, allowing the assaults to continue. The other employee ultimately quit because the incidents hadn’t stopped, according to the MDHR press release. 

Sheridan did not take action until after the supervisor was promoted in January 2021, resulting in the employee submitting a second complaint. However, MDHR said the company only issued a verbal warning, which the supervisor seemingly ignored, because the unwanted advances against the employee continued, the press release states.  

MDHR launched an investigation into the allegations and informed the company in May 2021 that both employees filed discrimination charges. The company then launched its own investigation, and the supervisor was fired in July 2021, according to the department. 

The MDHR states Sheridan violated the Minnesota Human Rights Act, and after failed attempts to resolve the case, the lawsuit was filed. The department is requesting the company pay the two employees damages, and ensure other employees are "provided a work environment that is free from sexual harassment and assault." 

FOX 9 reached out to Sheridan for comment.