Farmworkers’ sexual harassment cases leading to notable payouts

The Jackpot Harvesting case joins a number of farmworker sexual assault cases that have resulted in notable financial settlements or jury awards in the past year.
News Story (California)

Bernice Yeung
Reveal News
August 12, 2016

Tags: Farm and Migrant Workers, Sexual Assault, Sexual Harassment

Organizations mentioned/involved: California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. (CRLA)


The Jackpot Harvesting case follows another pattern: Farmworkers frequently experience extreme sexual harassment, including sexual assault or rape, by their supervisors. The abusers take advantage of an extreme power imbalance; they hold control over workers’ livelihoods. And those workers often are immigrants working in the U.S. without authorization, who are afraid of interacting with police.

“Most employers are opposed to sexual harassment and they don’t want it happening in their company. The problem in agriculture, though, is that the sentiment is not translating down to the workplace,” said Michael Meuter, a litigation director with California Rural Legal Assistance, the organization that represented Pineda.