DFEH Settles Sexual Harassment Case against Sandhu Brothers Growers in Stanislaus County

By June 16, 2016Private

The California Department of Fair Employment and Housing (DFEH) has
obtained a $75,000 settlement in a sexual harassment case filed on behalf of a female
farmworker who worked for Sandhu Brothers, a sweet potato farming operation in Stanislaus
County.

The case stemmed from a complaint by a female farmworker that she was harassed by a
supervisor while working for Sandhu Brothers. The complaint alleged that the supervisor
exposed his genitals to members of the crew, masturbated in front of the workers while driving a
tractor, and made unwanted sexual advances to several female crew members. The complainant
also alleged that she was groped by the supervisor and was fired after complaining to the
company. A separate sexual harassment complaint by another worker involving the same
company and the same supervisor was filed and resolved with the federal Equal Employment
Opportunity Commission in 2013. After the allegations were investigated and substantiated by
the DFEH, a complaint was filed in Stanislaus Superior Court in Modesto, California. The case
was settled January 19, 2016. It would have gone to trial on February 2, 2016.

As part of the settlement, the company has agreed to undergo sexual harassment training and
implement sexual harassment prevention policies.

“Sexual harassment is a serious problem, especially in agriculture where many workers are often
afraid to speak out and are unaware of their rights,” said DFEH Director Kevin Kish. “We hope
that this settlement will send a message to victims that the law will not tolerate this kind of
behavior in the workplace and encourage employers to adopt effective training and prevention
programs.”

The lawsuit was filed against defendants Sandhu Brothers Growers dba Yam Gro, Gurinder
Sandhu, and Bhupinder Sandhu. The case is titled DFEH v. Sandhu Brothers Poultry and
Farming et al, Stanislaus County Superior Court Case Number 2006626.

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