River Point Farms settles sexual harassment case - The Packer

River Point Farms settles sexual harassment case

05/13/2013 05:23:00 PM
Mike Hornick

River Point FarmsOnion grower-shipper River Point Farms will pay $150,000 to a woman who worked seasonally for the company, part of the settlement in a federal sexual harassment and retaliation suit.

The legal action by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission alleged Joaquina Ramirez faced repeated verbal abuse and sexual advances from a male supervisor from 2005 to 2010.

When her husband, a fellow employee, attempted to kill her in September 2010, she was blamed for his arrest and fired, according to the commission. The suit claimed the supervisor publicly encouraged her husband to kill Ramirez. She was allowed to return to work after the firing but was laid off sooner than other seasonal workers.

A spokesperson for Hermiston, Ore.-based River Point Farms could not immediately be reached for comment. The company denied the claims in October court filings.

Besides the $150,000, River Point agreed to various settlement provisions that included rehiring Ramirez, making complaint procedures accessible, and management training on the issue. The supervisor will not be rehired.

“We are pleased with the settlement and the fact that River Point Farms is taking action to prevent future occurrences of sexual harassment and retaliation in its workplace,” EEOC regional attorney William Tamayo said in a news release.



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