The Equal Employment Opprtunities Commission has been ordered to pay $1 million in attorney fees to two Washington farms because, according to a judge earlier this year, the EEOC “failed to conduct an adequate investigation before filing the lawsuit against the grower defendants.”
The judge had also found the EEOC’s claims against them were “baseless, unreasonable and frivolous.”
Valley Fruit Orchards and Green Acre Farms, both of Yakima County, were named as civil defendants as part of a broader litigation strategy launched by EEOC, which accused Global Horizons, a labor contractor, and several farms of breaching federal laws.
In the civil case against Valley Fruit Orchards and Green Acre Farms, the EEOC initially demanded they pay more than $30 million to avoid a lawsuit and then filed a complaint against the farms in 2011 when settlement talks faltered.
In 2014, a federal judge found that the EEOC did not present enough evidence to show the two farms created a hostile work environment, took adverse employment actions on the basis of national origin or retaliated against workers.
Unfortunately for American taxpayers: Not only did taxpayers fund the frivolous lawsuit but, now, taxpayers will fund the $1 million that the EEOC has been ordered to pay.
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