Female Workers Speak About $1.68 Million Settlement Reached in One of Largest Sex Discrimination Cases against San Joaquin Valley Grape Grower
LOS ANGELES -The grape grower, Kovacevich 5 Farms, which is based in Delano and Earlimart, agreed to pay $1.68 million to settle a federal lawsuit for refusing to hire women. The 2006 lawsuit involved female applicants who allegedly were turned away by K-5 solely because of their gender.
The case, considered one of the largest gender discrimination cases by a grower in recent history, was brought as a class action by the six female plaintiffs who are represented by Marcos Camacho of the Law Office of Marcos Camacho and Tomas Olmos of Allred, Maroko & Goldberg. The law suit was also joined by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.
According to the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, after an investigating of the charges filed by the six farm workers, the agency found that the grower hired zero women between 1998 and 2002 despite filling approximately 300 seasonal farm work positions every year.
"This is a great victory for all women in California and the country who labor in the agricultural industry. Hopefully, the fine imposed to K-5 farms will set a precedent and show that blatant discrimination will not be tolerated," said United Farm Workers President Arturo Rodriguez.
EEOC encourages women who wish to be considered as part of this class of women discriminated by K-5 Farms to contact EEOC staffer Maricela Medina at (408) 291-7354.
A press conference will be held at 1 p.m. on Tuesday to detail the lawsuit.
What: Press conference announcing details on sex discrimination lawsuit settlement.
When: Tuesday, Dec. 9, at 1 p.m.
Where: Allred, Maroko & Goldberg offices, 6300 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 1500, L.A.
Who:Farm workers involved in the lawsuit, Attorneys Gloria Allred and Tomas Olmos, and UFW President Arturo Rodriguez