EEOC Announces that a California Farm Settled a Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Lawsuit for $300,000

The EEOC announced the settlement in July 2018. The EEOC had accused a farm manager of sexually harassing four female workers in the following ways:

  • Leering at them
  • Grabbing the female workers in their private areas
  • Making comments that were sexual
  • And forcing them to be touched and kissed – though those actions were not wanted

The EEOC claims that the manager then retaliated by firing or refusing to hire again – at least three of the women who refused his sexual advances. The firing/refusing to hire workers charge also applied to workers who complained about the harassment or reported it. Three male farmworkers related to three of the female victims were also fired based on their relationship with the victims.

The EEOC also charged that the farm and a former farm labor company didn’t implement corrective measures when they became aware of the EEOC investigation. Instead, they just moved the harasser to a different farm.

The EEOC charged that the companies violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964. The case was brought in the US District Court for the Southern District of California. That court approved the settlement/consent decree.

In addition to paying the victims $300,000, the companies also agreed to:

  • Immediately rehire the workers who were fired or denied reemployment.
  • Work with an EEO compliance coordinator who will conduct regular audits.
  • Create a new employee manual which addresses “harassment and its reporting procedures, sexual harassment and EEO training of all staff members, and the creation of a centralized record keeping log to track all harassment complaints.”

According to the regional lawyer for the EECO, sexual harassment is a continuing problem in the agriculture sector. Employers have a duty to create a work environment that is free of hostility including sexual hostility.

Many sexual harassment victims are unaware of their legal rights and/or how to assert their rights.

The California Law Offices of Stephen A. Danz and Associates has been helping employees understand and assert their legal rights for nearly 40 years. We file legal claims for sexual harassment and demand appropriate damages including job reinstatement, lost wages, and physical and psychological injuries. We work with the EEOC and also bring claims in state and federal courts. For help with any type of workplace harassment, call us at 877-789-9707 or fill out our online contact form. Se habla espanol.