A federal judge overseeing the sexual harassment and retaliation case against Z Foods, Inc. recently ordered the company to pay $1,470,000 to the plaintiffs. Z Foods, Inc. was previously one of the largest agriculture companies in America.
How Did the Sexual Harassment and Workplace Retaliation Happen?According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the dried fruit processing company allowed two male supervisors to sexually harass multiple female employees and retaliate against those who complained. The EEOC described the incidents as some of the worst examples of sexual harassment in recent years.
The two managers reportedly required sexual favors in return for employment and promotions. They also repeatedly harassed female employees, including unwanted touching and staring. According to the lawsuit, both managers also stalked some of the employees.
Both female and male employees who witnessed or experienced the harassment filed complaints against the managers. However, those complaints were ignored, and those who made them were fired soon after.
The EEOC filed lawsuits against both Z Foods, Inc. and its parent company, Zoria Farms, in 2013. Two years later, Zoria settled the case against it with $330,000. After hearing the evidence, the judge presiding over the Z Foods case decided to award the plaintiffs the maximum amount allowable.
What Can I Do About Sexual Harassment and Retaliation?Contrary to what many may believe, sexual harassment is still very much a problem in today’s workplace. The EEOC has reported that approximately one in four women have experienced some form of sexual harassment at work. Men are also harassed, and account for about 16 percent of all sexual harassment complaints filed.
This kind of behavior is completely unacceptable. You should never have to be subjected to harassment, and certainly not workplace retaliation for reporting it. If you are being sexually harassed by a coworker or supervisor, make a complaint with human resources and talk with an employment law attorney.
You’re not alone. You don’t have to live with it. Help is out there. Don’t give in.
Dallas employment lawyer Dan A. Atkerson has been fighting for employees rights for more than 20 years, and has successfully helped countless victims of sexual harassment take back control of their lives and careers.