Jackson National Life Insurance Will Pay $20.5M to Settle Harassment, Discrimination, Retaliation Allegations

January 20, 2020

Jackson National Life Insurance Company has agreed to pay $20,500,000 to 21 complainants and furnish other relief to settle allegations that Jackson violated Title VII by subjecting employees to race, national origin, and sex discrimination and retaliation. In a September 2016 lawsuit, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged that Jackson tolerated a work environment hostile to female and African-American employees. African-American employees were purportedly referred to as "lazy," had stress balls thrown at them, and were subjected to racially demeaning cartoons. A high-level manager allegedly referred to multiple African-American female employees as "resident street walkers," and female employees purportedly endured sexual comments and leering from male coworkers. The EEOC also alleged that Jackson discriminated against African-American and female employees in the terms and conditions of employment, such as paying them inferior compensation and regularly passing them over for promotion, and selecting less-qualified, white male employees over the complainants. Jackson also purportedly retaliated against employees who filed charges of discrimination with the EEOC or otherwise opposed discrimination. In particular, Jackson fired a white vice president who refused to give a negative evaluation and a disciplinary warning to two African-American female employees who had complained.