Chicago, IL- It’s like déjà vu for a Ford assembly plant in Chicago as four women have come forward alleging they have been subjected to sexual harassment and discrimination and no one, not even their union, helped them put an end to the inappropriate behavior.

According to the Chicago Tribune, this is the same Ford plant that settled a sexual harassment suit for $9 million back in 2000.

Four women working at the Ford Assembly Plant, which is in the south side, filed their lawsuit in a federal court and also filed a discrimination complaint with the EEOC.

According to the Chicago Tribune, the women allege their supervisors and coworkers subjected them to lewd comments, unwanted sexual advances and requests for sexual favors. They also allege the men would expose or show pictures of their genitals, and shared pornographic images at work.

The women allege the harassment began and few years ago and continues to persist. They also allege that when they complained, no one took action.

The complainants allege they repeatedly called the company’s harassment line and spoke with their supervisors, but nothing was done to improve the hostile work environment. The women even allege they approached their union about the sexual harassment, but got no help or direction.

What’s more, the women allege company representatives told them to stop calling the employee harassment line, according to the Tribune. One woman claims she was suspended for calling the hotline.

Representatives from Ford declined to comment about the lawsuit, but said they take “allegations of sexual harassment and discrimination seriously,” and “take all appropriate steps in response,” according to the Tribune.

Employers understand that it’s important they investigate and address any allegations of sexual harassment that arise. But, unfortunately, even knowing this too many supervisors and upper management drop the ball, they take no action choosing instead to dismiss the allegations outright. Even worse, some employers retaliate against the victim either because they don’t believe them or can’t be bothered to investigate.

It is a big mistake for an employer to ignore complaints of sexual harassment. This behavior is toxic to the object, and it’s toxic to the entire workplace. Allowing harassment or discrimination alienates employees, causes tension between coworkers and leads to low morale and high employee turnover.

We don’t know if this is what was going in the heads of the Ford plant supervisors, but it is a common theme, and one of the primary reason victims are allowed to retain sexual harassment attorneys and pursue civil action. A settlement not only assures the victim is compensated for their loss of wages, but it also serves as punitive action, forcing the employer to change and better protect their employees.

If you are experiencing sexual harassment and can’t turn your employer, you can contact a sexual harassment attorney and get the advice you need. They will inform you of the proper way to file a complaint, and build a strong case that will benefit you.