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National Raisin Will Pay $2 Million to Settle Sex Harassment Claims at Fowler Plant
GV-Wire-1
By gvwire
Published 1 month ago on
March 12, 2024

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Fowler-based National Raisin settles EEOC lawsuit for $2 million.

EEOC represented female employees who alleged sexual harassment and retaliation.

Company must change its practices to prevent future sexual harassment.


National Raisin, also known as Sunshine Raisin Corp., has agreed to pay $2 million and implement extensive preventative measures to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, the federal agency said Tuesday.

Charlotte A. Burrows Portrait

“Farmworker women, especially those with limited English proficiency, fall squarely within the category of vulnerable workers. The EEOC will continue to bring litigation where necessary to ensure that they – and all workers –have equal employment opportunity free from workplace harassment.” — Charlotte A. Burrows, EEOC chair

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of a group of female agricultural workers, many of whom are Spanish-speaking.

The EEOC accused National Raisin of fostering a sexually hostile work environment at its Fowler production facility. The allegations included frequent unwanted physical contact, sexually explicit comments, requests for sexual favors, and threats of retaliation for not complying with the harassment.

The EEOC also claimed that National Raisin failed to take appropriate action after receiving complaints and instead retaliated against those who reported it.

The settlement, approved by U.S. District Judge Jennifer L. Thurston on Monday, includes a prohibition on future discrimination and retaliation.

“Protecting vulnerable workers from harassment, retaliation and other forms of discrimination is a key enforcement priority for the Commission as set forth in the EEOC’s most recent strategic enforcement plan,” said EEOC Chair Charlotte A. Burrows in a news release.

“Farmworker women, especially those with limited English proficiency, fall squarely within the category of vulnerable workers. The EEOC will continue to bring litigation where necessary to ensure that they – and all workers –have equal employment opportunity free from workplace harassment.”

Claims Process for Harassed Women

The settlement also requires National Raisin to change its employment practices to prevent future sexual harassment. This includes hiring a third-party monitor, providing significant training, implementing robust reporting mechanisms, and updating the company’s anti-discrimination policies.

A claims process will be established to compensate women who were sexually harassed and/or retaliated against.

The EEOC will continue to monitor National Raisin’s compliance with the settlement agreement.

Read more at EEOC.

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