Female Manager and Two Female Employees at Mushroom Farm Sexually Harassed Multiple Female Workers, Federal Agency Charged
Friday, November 08, 2019
READING — Bisconti Farms, Inc. and Bisconti Management, Inc. (collectively, “Bisconti Farms”), operators of a mushroom farm in Temple, Pa., will pay $200,000 and furnish significant equitable relief to settle a sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.
The EEOC charged that from at least 2007 until 2015, a female manager and two female employees at Bisconti Farms subjected eight female workers working in various mushroom-harvesting positions to repeated sexual harassment in the form of unwanted sexual touching and comments. The EEOC also charged that Bisconti Farms retaliated against one of the workers who opposed the sexual harassment by disciplining her and demoting or reassigning her to a different, lower-paying position.
Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sexual harassment and discrimination. Title VII also prohibits employers from retaliating against an employee because she opposed discrimination or harassment. The EEOC filed suit (EEOC et al. v. Bisconti Farms, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. 18-cv-4166) in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania (Reading) after first attempting to reach a voluntary prelitigation settlement through its conciliation process. Two of the female workers also sued in their own names as part of the EEOC’s case.
The three-year consent decree resolving the litigation has been approved by the federal court. In addition to paying $200,000 in monetary relief to the eight female workers, Bisconti Farms is prohibited from engaging in sex discrimination. Bisconti Farms must submit mandatory reports to the EEOC of any future complaints and investigations of sex discrimination, sexual harassment, or retaliation. It will create and disseminate an antidiscrimination policy and complaint procedure, in Spanish and English, and will designate EEO officers to investigate and respond to complaints. The three individuals charged by the EEOC as perpetrators of the harassment are barred from holding supervisory positions with Bisconti Farms. Bisconti Farms will provide training on Title VII in Spanish and English and will provide EEO officers additional training on conducting investigations of complaints. Finally, Bisconti Farms must post and distribute to workers a bi-lingual notice about the settlement and employees’ rights under Title VII.
42 USC 2000e-2 – Unlawful employment practices
42 USC 2000e-3 – Other unlawful employment practices