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Sexual harassment lawsuit leads to $1 million settlement

Being sexually harassed at work is grounds for litigation in Texas. In another state, two women who worked as celery harvesters claimed they were victims of sexual harassment in the workplace. They recently reached a million-dollar settlement against the allegedly responsible labor contractor.

The two women worked for the company on and off between 2007 and 2011. Back in 2009, they filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, claiming that they had been subjected to both verbal and physical harassment. They alleged that the company did not take any steps to safeguard the women from harassment.

The women eventually sued the company last year. A jury found that the company subjected the workers to quid pro quo harassment, as well as sex discrimination and a work environment that was hostile. The company was also determined to have subjected the women to retaliation by their supervisor and foreman. According to the jury, the employer did not prevent the women from being harmed as it should have. After the jury's findings, the company agreed that it would settle all of the claims that the women pursued in their suit in exchange for a million-dollar payment and the creation of extra workplace policies designed to prevent further sexual harassment in the future.

When a company allows its work environment to be hostile by not protecting workers from sexual harassment, it may be held liable. Sexual harassment may occur in the form of sexual assault, sexual demands and even verbal harassment. A successfully fought sexual harassment claim in Texas may result in various remedies -- for example, back pay -- based on the circumstances surrounding the case.

Source: montereyherald.com, "Celery harvesters win $1 million in sexual harassment lawsuit", Claudia Melendez Salinas, July 12, 2016

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