EEOC settles sexual harassment case against California vineyard

Regardless of gender, individuals can become victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. Victims in California could be entitled to reimbursement for the harm and damage done to them as a result of the harassment. Consulting an attorney can help determine if a case can be made.

An example of what can occur is the case between the Los Angeles office of The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and Giumarra Vineyards Corp. The vineyard, based in central California, recently agreed to pay $350,000 and make wide changes to procedures in the company in order to resolve the sexual harassment case against it.

The case was originally filed in 2010 by the EEOC. The complaint alleged that the vineyard ignored a 17-year-old female farm worker and others when they reported incidences of sexual harassment by supervisors. The women then claimed they were terminated in retaliation for reporting the abuse.

Not only does the settlement require the company to make monetary payments to plaintiffs, it also requires the company to make sweeping changes to its operating processes in regard to regulating worker abuse. The company promises to contract a third-party trainer to provide sexual harassment and retaliation training for all of its 3,000 employees. The company will also implement new policies aimed at combating discrimination. Also, complaint procedures will now be available in a variety of languages.

Fortunately, these employees were able to prevail in this case. Future employees will likely be able to avoid a workplace rife with sexual harassment thanks to this settlement. Many times a California harassment case will not even make it to court, since many employers are willing to settle in order to avoid prolonging the case and incurring unnecessary legal fees. However, if a case does go to court, victims may still be able to prevail over corporations. The key is having experienced legal assistance.

Source: Business Insurance, "Giumarra Vineyards settles EEOC sexual harassment, retaliation suit," Mike Tsikoudakis, July 3, 2012

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