NORMAL, Ill. - Mitsubishi Motors Corp. and 29 women who accuse the company of sexual harassment have agreed to try to resolve a lawsuit against the company through mediation.
The lawsuit was pending before a federal court in Peoria, and both sides 'expressed their hope that this process will lead to a fair and rapid resolution,' the attorney for the women said in a short statement.
Attorney Patricia Benassi of Peoria said neither party is required to adhere to the recommendations of the mediators.
'I think that both sides are using such a way to resolve the lawsuit without dragging it out in the court for years,' Benassi said.
Mitsubishi spokeswoman Gael O'Brien said the parties agreed to release no further details on the mediation process.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission also is suing the automaker, contending 289 women at Mitsubishi's Normal plant were targets or witnesses of sexual harassment.
In response to the lawsuit, Mitsubishi at first denied wrongdoing, shut the plant for a day and bused more than 2,000 workers to Chicago, 120 miles away, to demonstrate outside the EEOC office.
Later, though, Mitsubishi conceded that there were incidents of harassment, but denied that it was 'pervasive' as charged by the EEOC.