Dried-Fruit Producer Faces Harassment Suit

MADERA, Calif. (AP) — A federal lawsuit has been filed charging that a central California dried-fruit producer subjected its female workers to ongoing sexual harassment.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing Madera-based company Z Foods and Zoria Farms alleging they unlawfully fired a class of workers in retaliation for reporting the abuse that began in 2007.

The suit filed Wednesday says that company supervisors targeted at least four female workers by making lewd comments about their appearances and routinely soliciting sex as a condition of employment or in exchange for more favorable jobs.

The EEOC says some workers who did not comply and others who reported the abuse to human resources and management were fired.

Z Foods could not be reached for comment because the company's phone number has been disconnected.