A Colorado potato packing plant has settled a lawsuit alleging a history of sexual harassment. According to the suit, female employees were subjected to sexual harassment at the MountainKing Potatoes plant in Monte Vista, CO for more than a decade. The plant’s operators will distribute a sum of $415,000 among 13 employees represented in the suit, and an additional $35,000 to cover legal fees for Colorado Legal Services, who helped some of the women file their complaints.
The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the lawsuit against Smokin’ Spuds, Inc. and Farming Technology, Inc. on behalf of four female employees, alleging that a male supervisor had harassed women at the plant since 2001. The 13 employees in the suit were subjected to repeated inappropriate touching, lewd comments and propositions. The suit also claims that three of the women were fired after complaining about the harassment.
The supervisor was terminated as part of the settlement and the plant’s operators will provide discrimination law training and post signs notifying workers of their rights. They have also sent letters of apology to each of the women involved in the suit.
EEOC Increases Efforts to Protect Agricultural Workers
Agricultural workers seem to be at high risk for this type of harassment, as many are not aware of their rights and cannot afford legal representation. The MountainKing suit is one of several recent harassment cases in growing and packing facilities across the United States, including a $17 million settlement involving a produce packing operation in Florida. These cases seem to disproportionately affect immigrant women who cannot advocate for themselves, either because of a language barrier or simply because they do not know what resources are available to them.
Philadelphia Employment Lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green Protect Rights of Sexual Harassment Victims
Philadelphia employment lawyers at Sidkoff, Pincus & Green handle all types of employment discrimination and harassment cases. We will give your case the personal attention you deserve and prepare a sound legal strategy to aggressively defend your rights. With offices conveniently located in Philadelphia, we help victims of sexual harassment throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania and South Jersey. Call us today at 215-574-0600 or contact us online to review your case with a knowledgeable sexual harassment lawyer.