The EEOC has filed a sexual harassment lawsuit and a temporary restraining order against Evans Fruit Company, one of the nation’s largest apple producers. The temporary restraining order was filed in order to prevent any attempts by Evans Fruit bossees to intimidate or tamper with current or potential witnesses.
The EEOC alleges that the ranch manager and crew leaders subjected a class of female workers to sexual harassment at the Evans Fruit Sunnyside ranch. According to the agency’s investigation, these supervisors often singled out women for sexual advances, with work assignments that isolated them from friends and family members. The women were forced to quit, the EEOC charged, in order to get away from the ongoing sexual comments, propositioning and physical groping.
One of the workers who filed charges with the EEOC described how the ranch manager refused to let her work on the same crew as her 15-year-old daughter, whom he then targeted with unwelcome verbal and physical sexual attention. She said, “My daughter was just a child. That man should not have been touching her or whispering in her ear. There weren’t any other jobs in town, but we could not work there any longer. I do not want what happened to my daughter to happen to anyone else.”