Attorney General Accuses Quincy Ag Company of Worker Sexual Abuse
Wednesday, Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced a complaint has been filed in U.S. District Court of Eastern Washington, claiming sexual harassment of farm workers by a foreman working for a large ag company in Quincy, WA
Ferguson said practices and policies of the Quincy, WA based Horning Brothers LCC allowed one of it's foremen to sexually harass female workers, and discriminate against them.
Hermilo Cruz is the foreman named in the suit. Ferguson says since 2012, he attempted to ensure that only women would be hired to work at the onion packing and processing plant he oversaw in Quincy, and that he deliberately tried to limit women from getting other positions. The suit goes on to say:
"Multiple sorters were allegedly subjected to unwelcome, and sometimes severe and pervasive sexual advances from Cruz, including requests for sex, comments about their appearance, overt sexual gestures, groping and unwanted touching. The complaint also alleges that Cruz required or attempted to require some women to have sex with him to ensure they would continue to be employed."
Ferguson says Cruz and the company are guilty of breaking the 1964 Federal Civil Rights act and the Washington Law Against Discrimination. Workers who didn't comply or resisted Cruz's advances or behavior were either reprimanded, dismissed or not rehired the following season.