Tomato Grower DiMare Ruskin Settles Sexual Harassment Suit Filed by EEOC
DiMare Ruskin, a Florida-based grower and produce provider, has agreed to pay $150,000 to two female farm workers as part of a settlement agreement with the United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) in connection with sexual harassment charges. .
The EEOC’s lawsuit was filed upon reports that the two female employees were subjected to sexual harassment by their supervisors during three months of their employment in the 2008-2009 season. The lawsuit alleged that the women were fired when they complained about the supervisors’ illegal conduct.
The settlement requires that DiMare Ruskin establish a nationwide anti-harassment policy that allows employees to communicate complaints to the company. DiMare Ruskin must also provide nationwide training to both management and non-management employees on the anti-discrimination laws enforced by the EEOC. The company must report all information concerning its handling of discrimination to the EEOC for three years.
According to Robert Weisberg, the regional of the EEOC’s Miami office, sexual harassment is a big problem in the agricultural industry. This case is the latest in a series of anti-discrimination lawsuits filed by the EEOC aimed at protecting vulnerable employees.
Title VII of the Civil Rights Act makes it unlawful for any employer or organization to adversely affect employees in any way on account of an employee’s race, color, religion, sex, or national origin. The Act further prohibits employers from retaliating against employees for reporting such unlawful conduct. California’s Fair Employment and Housing Act (FEHA) also prohibits harassment or discrimination in employment because of sex.
If you have been improperly harassed or discriminated against in the workplace, contact Khorrami, LLP for a confidential consultation.