Apropos to our blog entry of October 9th, where we described the EEOC’s targeting of cases of harassment and abuse of “vulnerable” employees, especially farm workers, the EEOC announced yesterday that it settled a case against a vineyard in Ukiah, California on behalf of farm workers.
The suit alleged national origin harassment against Mexican-born winery workers, who were called "wetbacks" and "beaners" by a supervisor, who also told them to go back to Mexico when they complained about the harassment.
Underscoring the EEOC’s use of the word “vulnerable” to describe the type of employees that it was moving to protect, one plaintiff was quoted as saying that "Until this case, we didn’t realize we had rights, or that there are laws to stop that kind of treatment."
In our earlier blog we said that “it goes without saying that all employers in the United States must have a written ‘zero tolerance’ policy regarding sexual harassment distributed to all employees and managers and enforced by the employer, as well as appropriate periodic sexual harassment training of both employees and managers.”
Apropos to that advice, note that the settlement entered into by the Ukiah winery provides that it must pay $75,000, and also must conduct training for all employees against national origin harassment, as well as provide copies of its anti-harassment training in both English and Spanish to the employees.