Cleveland-Cliffs Responds to 2005 Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

Updated: April 04, 2019 06:36 PM

Before he lead Cleveland-Cliffs, Lourenco Goncalves was a leader in the steel and metals industry.

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For years, he was the CEO of Metals USA, which is based in Houston. And it was there, in 2005, where he was accused of sexual harassment.

According to a report from Advance Ohio Media, Goncalves allegedly groped a woman and pulled her down onto his lap.

The woman sued Metals USA. In the end, there was a $300,000 settlement, per the article from Advance Ohio Media.

Cliffs's Director of Corporate Communications, Pat Persico, told WDIO on Thursday, "At Cleveland-Cliffs, we take any allegations of workplace harassment very seriously. And there has not been any such claims against Mr. Goncalves in the five years since he's been here."

She went on to say, ""The incident was based on a single alleged incident from 14 years ago. And at the time of the incident, Mr. Goncalves was CEO for a couple of years, and there were no other incidents. And even after the alleged incident, Mr. Goncalves continued to be CEO for about eight more years at Metals USA. We do note that the former Metals USA employee did not report the incident through the EEOC or through other government channels. Rather, a lawyer at the firm where the former employee worked previously had filed the lawsuit on her behalf."

The statement concluded with: "Based on the information publicly available from the settlement, the board at Metals USA had investigated and concluded that there was no evidence to substantiate the allegations, and no evidence of a hostile workplace. In the settlement agreement, neither Mr. Goncalves nor Metals USA admitted any wrongdoing. Due to the terms of the settlement, Mr. Goncalves cannot comment on the lawsuit or the allegations themselves."

Goncalves has lead Cliffs since 2014.

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