The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission has filed a retaliation lawsuit against the Fisher Nut Company, an almond producer based in Modesto, California.
The EEOC claims that a group of Latina employees suffered numerous consequences for having attended an informal meeting that resulted in a discrimination charge being filed with the Commission. Some of the workers faced verbal threats and irrational warnings from their immediate supervisors; in one case, a worker was warned for “laughing during the course of the work day.” All but one of the workers were moved from various other jobs to the entry-level almond sorting position, widely considered the least desirable work at the plant. Ultimately, all the women were fired within two months of the informal meeting.
One of the women said, “At first, I did not understand why I was being transferred to almond sorting. But then I saw friends transferred there too, friends who had joined the discrimination claim against the company. We were constantly under close supervision. I felt we were being punished due to the claim we helped file. Later we were told in a meeting that we were being fired because Ron Fisher was very angry due to the discrimination claim. And after eight years of working for Fisher Nut without a single warning, I was terminated.”