Farmworkers Win Sexual Harassment Suit
From Wal-Mart to Wall Street, sexual harassment is just as pervasive as ever:
One of Florida's largest fruit and vegetable wholesalers has agreed to pay $215,000 to settle allegations of sexual harassment in one of the few such lawsuits ever brought on behalf of farmworker women in the United States.
The lawsuit, initiated by Southern Poverty Law Center attorney Mónica Ramírez Guerrero, alleged five Haitian women working at Gargiulo Inc.'s tomato packinghouse in Immokalee were subjected to repeated, unwelcome sexual advances by their supervisor and then faced retaliation after they complained. The retaliation included the firing of three of the women.
"Our clients are very pleased and relieved that we were able to reach an agreement," said Ramírez Guerrero. "While they were being harassed they did not know that laws existed to protect them. Due to the fact that they are immigrants and farmworkers, our clients thought it would be impossible to achieve justice. They believe that this settlement will help other women who are experiencing sexual harassment, so that they do not feel helpless."