Every citizen should be given certain basic rights. When those rights are not honored and a person is threatened, harassed or demoralized, something can and should be done about it. The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission strives to ensure and protect these basic rights and safeguard employees from discrimination. In a case out of Madera, California, Z Foods, at one time one of the nation’s largest processors of dried fruits, was held accountable. This put the agricultural industry on notice that harassment of female workers would not only not be tolerated, but it could also cost a significant amount of money.
After an investigation into claims against the company, the fruit processor was ultimately ordered to pay damages of $1,470,000 by a federal judge. One major reason for the damages was the severity of the emotional distress brought about by the harassment two supervisors. They subjected female farm workers to this unwelcome attention as a condition of continued employment or potential promotion.
The harassment came in the form of sexual advances, touching and leering and other inappropriate acts. Both female and male employees complained about the behavior directed at the women and their employment was subsequently terminated.
If you feel you have been the victim of retaliation by an employer after you stood up for someone’s basic civil rights or if you feel like your own rights were violated, you may find great benefit in enlisting an Indiana attorney well-versed in employment law. He or she can work in an effort to ensure any retaliation is vindicated and damages are awarded if damages are due.
Source: National Law Review, “Federal Judge Awards $1, 470,000 in EEOC Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Case Against Z Foods,” July 24, 2016