LOS ANGELES (Legal Newsline) — The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has announced Global Horizons Inc., a farm labor contractor, will pay $7,658,500 to resolve an alleged pattern of subjecting Thai farm workers in Washington to a hostile work environment, harassment and discrimination.
"The EEOC continues its mission of vindicating the rights of the most vulnerable workers who are directly targeted for exploitation based on stereotypes about their race and national origin that they won't dare complain," said Anna Park, regional attorney for EEOC's Los Angeles District. "The court's findings in this case will empower workers who think they have no voice."
The federal judge on the case ordered punitive damages based on allegations Global’s conduct was malicious with reckless disregard for these farm workers rights. Allegations include confiscating passports leading to workers being detained by police and pushing workers to work faster by hitting them on the head with a cane.
"Unchecked discrimination, harassment and retaliation can lead to severe workplace abuses that violate federal law,” said Rosa M. Viramontes, district director for EEOC's Los Angeles District. “The court's decision sends a strong signal to the agricultural industry that our workers' basic civil and human rights must be protected."