Grape Grower To Pay $350K In Harassment Case

FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — One of the country's largest grape growers will pay $350,000 and make changes in company procedures to settle a federal sexual harassment and retaliation lawsuit.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says a 17-year-old farmworker at Giumarra Vineyards in Edison, Calif. was sexually harassed by a co-worker. When she and four other workers complained to management, all were fired.

As part of the settlement, the commission says Giumarra has agreed to provide thousands of its farmworkers and other workers with training on sexual harassment and retaliation.

The grower will also revamp its anti-discrimination policies and complaint procedures dealing with sexual harassment, discrimination and retaliation, as well as develop a tracking system and hire a human resources professional to handle complaints.

Company spokesman Jeff Giumarra said in a statement the company takes the issues of sexual harassment and discrimination "very seriously" and was "proud" to offer the training program.