EEOC Sues National Raisin and Select Staffing for Sexual Harassment and Retaliation

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FRESNO, Calif. — Sunshine Raisin Corporation, dba National Raisin, and Real Time Staffing Services, LLC, dba Select Staffing, violated federal law when they failed to prevent and correct grievous sexual harassment and retaliated against female employees who reported the harassment, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) charged in a lawsuit filed today.
    
According to the lawsuit, the federal agency alleges that since 2011 female employees working at National Raisin’s Fowler, Calif. production facility were subjected to verbal and physical sexual harassment by a supervisor. The harassment included frequent unwanted groping and touching, sexually explicit conversations and requests for sexual favors, threats of retaliation for not acquiescing to the harassment, and physical representations of sexual acts. The EEOC contends that both National Raisin and Select Staffing failed to adequately respond to multiple complaints of harassment made against National Raisin’s employees. Employees who reported the misconduct were disciplined, terminated, or felt that they had no choice but to quit as a result of the companies’ failure to address the harassment, the EEOC’s suit alleges.

The EEOC filed suit in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California (EEOC v. Sunshine Raisin Corporation, d/b/a National Raisin and Real Time Staffing Services, LLC, d/b/a Select Staffing, Case No. 1:21-cv-01424-NONE-HBK), after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process.  The EEOC’s suit seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the complainants and class members as well as injunctive relief intended to prevent National Raisin and Select Staffing from engaging in further discrimination, harassment, and retaliation.

“Sexual harassment continues to be an ongoing problem in the agricultural industry,” said Anna Park, regional attorney for the EEOC’s Los Angeles district. “The EEOC will continue to pursue cases on behalf of the most vulnerable in the workplace.”

 “The allegations in this suit are shocking. The employers should have been there to support their employees, instead of retaliating against them,” said Melissa Barrios, director of the EEOC’s Fresno local office. “It is important for employers to create a workplace free of harassment and discrimination; one where employees feel safe to report incidents of harassment without fear of retaliation.”

According to National Raisin’s website, www.nationalraisin.com, the company is a dried fruit factory based in Fowler, Calif.

According to Select Staffing’s website, www.select.com, the agency is part of the EmployBridge Portfolio of supply chain workforce solutions which has over 400 branches in the U.S. and is headquartered in Santa Barbara, Calif.
   
Preventing workplace harassment through systemic litigation and investigation is one of the six national priorities identified by the Commission’s Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov. Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our email updates.

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