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JPMorgan to pay $1.45 million to settle sex-based harassment suit

A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar
A sign outside the headquarters of JP Morgan Chase & Co in New York, September 19, 2013. REUTERS/Mike Segar

(Reuters) - JPMorgan Chase & Co will pay $1.45 million to settle a government lawsuit that charged the company maintained a sexually hostile environment for women in an Ohio mortgage center more than four years ago.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, which announced the settlement on Monday of a case brought in 2009, said the work situation included sexually charged behavior and comments from supervisory staff in a mortgage banking center in the company's Polaris Park offices outside of Columbus, Ohio.

Women mortgage bankers who did not embrace the atmosphere were ostracized and kept from lucrative sales calls, training and other job benefits, the EEOC said.

The $1.45 million will be divided among 16 women who worked at the center, the EEOC said. JPMorgan is creating a system to make sure sales opportunities are fairly distributed, according to the commission.

JPMorgan spokeswoman Amy Bonitatibus said, "We fully agree with the EEOC that harassment and discrimination have no place in the work environment."

(Reporting by David Henry and Carlyn Kolker in New York; Editing by Jan Paschal)

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