We have written before about the EEOC’s announced intent, as per its Strategic Enforcement Plan (“SEP”), to protect “vulnerable” workers. We said on June 5, 2014: “‘The most vulnerable workers’ — this is a part of the EEOC’s strategic plan for enforcement. Protecting them, that is, as we noted before – think farm workers, migrant workers, workers in isolated areas, and mentally-challenged Henry’s Turkey workers.”
We wrote about such a case as recently as August 20th.
A new suit filed by the EEOC demonstrates this continued EEOC targeting.
The suit charges that a Maine farm and produce wholesaler maintained a sexually hostile work environment for female farmworkers for many years, with these workers being “groped, repeatedly propositioned for sex and subjected to lewd comments about their bodies by their supervisors and male co-workers.”
Despite repeated complaints by the workers, the employer took no action to address the hostile work environment – with one employee ultimately being forced to leave.
Takeaway: Taken verbatim from the EEOC’s press announcement:
“The lawsuit, one of many similar suits filed by the agency in recent years on behalf of farmworkers, underscores the EEOC’s longstanding nationwide commitment to addressing the plight of these vulnerable workers, who are often reluctant or unable to exercise their rights under the equal employment laws.”