Fresno, CA– This week the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced they reached a settlement with Zoria Farms, a California fruit grower to resolve allegations of sexual harassment and retaliation.
The EEOC said Zoria Farms agreed to pay $333,000 in fines and damages after four employees said they were sexually harassed by two supervisors. According to the women, their supervisors subjected them to unwanted hugs, kisses and comments and made repeated solicitations for sex, ABC 30 reported.
ABC 30 reports that several male and female employees witnessed the harassment and filed formal complaints, but Zaria farms took no action to stop the harassment.
A year after the original complaint was filed, Zoria Farms was sold to a new company. When the new company took over, they refused to hire ten people because they filed formal sexual harassment complaints.
Zoria is just the latest farm to settle sexual harassment complaints, such lawsuits occur regularly. A 2012 Human Rights Watch report found that the majority of female agricultural workers have been subjected to sexual harassment while on the job. They make perfect victims because many are undocumented and are afraid to come forward because of their legal status.
Following that report, California Governor Jerry Brown signed a bill that gave farmworkers added protections from sexual harassment. The bill which was signed last October made yearly sexual harassment training mandatory for all farm contractors, supervisors and all other farm workers. Prior to the law, only farms with 50 workers or more were required to conduct sexual harassment training.
Sexual harassment training can only go so far if an employer doesn’t take action on any sexual harassment claims they receive. Far too many employers refuse to even investigate complaints they receive and brush the allegations under the rug. Even worse some employers realize the harassment is going on, but take no action to stop it. They choose to ignore a toxic work environment and refuse to protect their employees from abuse like Zoria Farms.
Many workers are aware that they don’t have to tolerate sexual harassment, but they are afraid to say anything because they fear retaliation like these ten farm employees faced. Retaliation is so common in sexual harassment cases and actually much easier to prove than the actual harassment, although that can be difficult to prove as well. When you enlist an employment law attorney, they will being working immediately to prove your claims and build a winning case that results in you receiving a just settlement for the harassment you endured.
If you have repeatedly faced unwanted sexual attention and have no idea how to stop it, one of the outstanding sexual harassment attorneys at USAttorneys can help. They can guide you through the complaint process, assist with mediation and stand by your side until your case is settled. With one of our sexual harassment attorneys working on your claim you put an end the hostile work environment and recover damages for your mental anguish.