EEOC: Farm Harassed Women Employees

Our economy no longer is dominated by agriculture, as it was before the Industrial Revolution, but for those who toil in the fields working conditions can often be frightening. A lawsuit filed today by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission looks to send a message that our civil rights laws protect farmhands just like any other employees.

County Fair Farm, a farm and produce wholesaler located in Jefferson, Maine, stands accused of violating Title VII of the 1964 Civil Rights Act by creating and maintaining a sexually hostile work environment for female farmworkers since 2003.

The harassment, according to the EEOC, consisted the womens’ supervisors and co-workers repeatedly groping and propositioning them for sex and directing  lewd comments at them about their bodies. And the farm failed to take action to stop the harassment and in the case of one victim the harassment intensified and she was fired after complaining, the EEOC charged.

“Farmworkers are particularly vulnerable to discrimination and harassment,” said Robert D. Rose, regional attorney for the EEOC’s New York District Office. “They are entitled to the full protection of our laws, and the EEOC will vigorously enforce those laws when farmworkers are targets of abuse.”

Read more about the case.

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