$150,000 Settlement Against Farm Labor Contractor for Sexual Harassment, Training Ordered

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Question:  Would sexual harassment training have prevented this case?  See our trainings at http://www.hrclassroom.com.

Mid Valley Labor Services, Inc., a  statewide farm labor contractor with hundreds of employees, will pay $150,000  to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal  Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).

According  to the EEOC’s lawsuit, female employees working in grape vineyards in Sonoma  and Mendocino Counties faced sexually explicit language and propositions by  their male crew supervisor. The EEOC further  charged that two women who objected to the harassment were fired.

Sexual  harassment and retaliation for complaining about it violate Title VII of the Civil  Rights Act of 1964. The EEOC filed the  lawsuit (Civil No. CV-10-2560 JCS) in U.S. District Court for the Northern  District of California after an investigation by EEOC Investigator Margarita  Hossaini-Zadeh and first attempting to reach a voluntary settlement through  conciliation.

Under  the provisions of the consent decree settling the suit, Mid Valley agreed to  pay workers $150,000 in damages. The  company will also provide yearly sexual harassment training of its employees by  an outside consultant; revise its sexual harassment policy and complaint  procedure; assure supervisor accountability for preventing sexual harassment  and retaliation; and regularly report to the EEOC regarding harassment  complaints.

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