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EEOC sues Wausau-based farm for sexual harassment and discrimination in the workplace

(Source: Gray News)
Published: Sep. 14, 2021 at 3:37 PM CDT
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WAUSAU, Wis. (WSAW) - The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Baumann Farms on accusations they violated the civil rights of its female workers.

The EEOC has filed a lawsuit alleging female employees were harassed by a male supervisor, who propositioned them for sex, sent them sexually explicit photographs and texts, touched them inappropriately, and subjected them to sex-based derogatory comments and threats of physical harm.

The lawsuit also states Baumann Farms had an English-only policy that discriminates against non-English-speaking Hispanic employees.

“Discrimination against agricultural workers is a problem that the EEOC will continue to vigorously pursue.” Gregory Gochanour, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Chicago District, said, “An employer cannot fire employees because they oppose sexual harassment. Further, an employer may not have an English-only policy like the one in this case that is not justified by business necessity, because it discriminates against non-English-speaking employees based on national origin. Prosecuting such violations of Title VII is critical to ensuring that the law fulfills its purpose.”

Newschannel 7 reached out to a phone number listed on the Greater Wausau Chamber of Commerce website. A company representative told us “no comment” and declined to discuss the lawsuit further.

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