California Vineyard Accused of Teenage Sexual Harassment
January 15, 2010
As Anaheim-based Labor and Employment Lawyers, we have been following the recent California discrimination case brought against Giumarra Vineyards Corporation, where the company is being accused of sexually harassing a young female farm worker, creating a hostile work environment, and retaliation.
The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California, and claimed that the teenage worker was forced to endure sexual comments and verbal harassment, as well as inappropriate sexual touching by a non-management Giumarra worker on a daily basis. After witnessing the sexual harassment, a group other farm workers stood by the victim and filed a complaint with Giumarra Vineyards, reportedly one of the largest table grape growers in the country.
According to the lawsuit, one day after reporting the harassment, the teenager and the class of farm workers were all fired in retaliation. All of the identified victims in the case are indigenous Indians from Mexico--a reported minority in the Mexican community of farm workers.
According to Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, it is against the law to harass employees based on gender, and illegal to retaliate against a worker who files a complaint about discrimination in the workplace. The EEOC states that when workers complain to supervisors about harassment in the workplace, it is the responsibility of the employer to take action and end the unlawful discrimination. The commission also stated that cases involving the sexual harassment of teenage victims are taken seriously, as are aggressive acts of retaliation against workers who stand up for their rights, and the rights of their colleagues in the workplace.
Maria Stern, San Diego Local Office Director for the EEOC, stated that employers must realize that that they have a lawful obligation to provide employees with a safe workplace environment that is free from sexual harassment. According to the EEOC, retaliating against an employee who complains about harassment is just as much of a violation as the harassment itself.
Howard Law, PC represents employees who have been sexually harassed and are seeking recovery. Our team of experienced California Labor & Employment Attorneys are committed to aggressively representing you and protecting your employment rights. Contact us today for a free consultation.
Lawsuit Alleges Giumarra Allowed Sexual Harassment, Bakersfield.com, January 13, 2010
Giumarra Vineyards Sued by EEOC for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation Against Farm Workers, EEOC Press Release, January 13, 2010
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