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13 alleged sexual harassment victims awarded $450K

A group of 13 women who worked for a MountainKing Potatoes plant in another state are finally receiving justice. The operators of the plant, Farming Technology Inc. and Smokin' Spuds, Inc. are both associated with Texas-based Syndex Corp. The women were allegedly subjected to sexual harassment for over 10 years.

The lawsuit was filed on behalf of the women by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. It was later discovered that four of the women were immigrants. According to an EEOC attorney, many of the workers are not educated concerning their rights and don't have the money to get legal help. The sexual harassment allegedly began as early as 2001.

According to the complaint, the workers were forced to endure repeated requests for sex by their male supervisor. They also claim they were subjected to unwanted touching and inappropriate remarks. When they allegedly complained about how they were being treated, three of them were terminated.

A settlement was reached that would award the victims $450,000, and all but $35,000 of that amount will be divided among the women. MountainKing has agreed to send the women an apology letter and fire the offending supervisor. Additionally, the company must display notices in the workplace so that workers are aware of their right to a workplace free from harassment.  Texas workers who believe that they are the victims of sexual harassment are fully entitled to complain about sexual harassment at work. If nothing is done to correct the objectionable conduct, the employees may benefit from seeking advice and assistance from an attorney experienced in handling employment law claims.

Source: startribune.com, "Colorado potato packing plant settles sex harassment suit", Colleen Slevin, Oct. 7, 2015

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