Colorado Potato Warehouse Pays $255,000 to Settle EEOC Sexual Harassment Lawsuit

by U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Ten Female Potato Sorters Sexually Harassed by Same Supervisor Over Six-Year Period, Federal  Agency Charged

DENVER - The Spud Seller, Inc., a potato wholesaler in the  San Luis Valley outside of Monte Vista, Colo., has agreed to pay $255,000 and  furnish other relief to settle a sexual harassment lawsuit filed by the U.S.  Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today. 

According to the EEOC's lawsuit, EEOC v. Spud Seller, Inc. 10-cv-02381-MSK-KLM, a warehouse  supervisor repeatedly harassed female hourly employees, including 10 identified  women who worked as potato sorters.  After  one of the women filed a charge with the EEOC in 2009, the EEOC conducted an  investigation which uncovered more women who alleged sexual harassment.  The women, who worked for the company at  different times, alleged their supervisor made sexual comments, groped and touched  them, exposed himself and solicited sexual acts over a period from June 2004  through 2010.  The first complaint about  his conduct was brought to management in June 2004.  The supervisor was eventually fired by Spud  Seller in 2012.

Sexual harassment, and an employer's failure to stop sexual  harassment about which it knew or should have known, violate Title VII of the  Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The EEOC filed  suit after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its  conciliation process.

In addition to the monetary relief to the employees, the  three-year decree settling the suit enjoins Spud Seller from engaging in  harassment on the basis of sex.  Spud  Seller has agreed to train its current and future managers and employees on  anti-discrimination laws and to post notices stating its commitment to  maintaining an environment free of sexual harassment.

"Employers have a responsibility to maintain an environment  free of sexual harassment for all workers," said EEOC Regional Attorney Mary Jo  O'Neill.  "Here, a member of management  was the harasser and some of the victims were immigrants.  These immigrant workers are especially  vulnerable to exploitation, and we will continue to vindicate their civil  rights.  This settlement achieves the  EEOC's objectives by providing important training to the managers and all  employees to prevent this kind of misconduct in the future, and brings  appropriate monetary relief to these 10 victims."

Nancy Sienko, field director of the EEOC's Denver Field  Office, said, "We are very interested in attacking illegal discrimination in  sparsely populated and underserved areas like the San Luis Valley of southern  Colorado.  We believe it is important to  let residents of areas like this know that we are here for them as a resource,  and we encourage them to stand up and report discrimination when they believe  it is happening to them.  The EEOC  considers protecting immigrant, migrant and other vulnerable workers from  discrimination and harassment a priority under the Strategic Enforcement Plan."

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment  discrimination.  Further information  about the EEOC is available on its web site at  The EEOC's Denver Field Office, located at 303 East 17th Avenue, Suite 410,  in Denver, enforces federal anti-discrimination  laws in Colorado and Wyoming.


Written by:

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) on:

Readers' Choice 2017
Reporters on Deadline

"My best business intelligence, in one easy email…"

Your first step to building a free, personalized, morning email brief covering pertinent authors and topics on JD Supra:
Sign up using*

Already signed up? Log in here

*By using the service, you signify your acceptance of JD Supra's Privacy Policy.
Custom Email Digest
Privacy Policy (Updated: October 8, 2015):

JD Supra provides users with access to its legal industry publishing services (the "Service") through its website (the "Website") as well as through other sources. Our policies with regard to data collection and use of personal information of users of the Service, regardless of the manner in which users access the Service, and visitors to the Website are set forth in this statement ("Policy"). By using the Service, you signify your acceptance of this Policy.

Information Collection and Use by JD Supra

JD Supra collects users' names, companies, titles, e-mail address and industry. JD Supra also tracks the pages that users visit, logs IP addresses and aggregates non-personally identifiable user data and browser type. This data is gathered using cookies and other technologies.

The information and data collected is used to authenticate users and to send notifications relating to the Service, including email alerts to which users have subscribed; to manage the Service and Website, to improve the Service and to customize the user's experience. This information is also provided to the authors of the content to give them insight into their readership and help them to improve their content, so that it is most useful for our users.

JD Supra does not sell, rent or otherwise provide your details to third parties, other than to the authors of the content on JD Supra.

If you prefer not to enable cookies, you may change your browser settings to disable cookies; however, please note that rejecting cookies while visiting the Website may result in certain parts of the Website not operating correctly or as efficiently as if cookies were allowed.

Email Choice/Opt-out

Users who opt in to receive emails may choose to no longer receive e-mail updates and newsletters by selecting the "opt-out of future email" option in the email they receive from JD Supra or in their JD Supra account management screen.


JD Supra takes reasonable precautions to insure that user information is kept private. We restrict access to user information to those individuals who reasonably need access to perform their job functions, such as our third party email service, customer service personnel and technical staff. However, please note that no method of transmitting or storing data is completely secure and we cannot guarantee the security of user information. Unauthorized entry or use, hardware or software failure, and other factors may compromise the security of user information at any time.

If you have reason to believe that your interaction with us is no longer secure, you must immediately notify us of the problem by contacting us at In the unlikely event that we believe that the security of your user information in our possession or control may have been compromised, we may seek to notify you of that development and, if so, will endeavor to do so as promptly as practicable under the circumstances.

Sharing and Disclosure of Information JD Supra Collects

Except as otherwise described in this privacy statement, JD Supra will not disclose personal information to any third party unless we believe that disclosure is necessary to: (1) comply with applicable laws; (2) respond to governmental inquiries or requests; (3) comply with valid legal process; (4) protect the rights, privacy, safety or property of JD Supra, users of the Service, Website visitors or the public; (5) permit us to pursue available remedies or limit the damages that we may sustain; and (6) enforce our Terms & Conditions of Use.

In the event there is a change in the corporate structure of JD Supra such as, but not limited to, merger, consolidation, sale, liquidation or transfer of substantial assets, JD Supra may, in its sole discretion, transfer, sell or assign information collected on and through the Service to one or more affiliated or unaffiliated third parties.

Links to Other Websites

This Website and the Service may contain links to other websites. The operator of such other websites may collect information about you, including through cookies or other technologies. If you are using the Service through the Website and link to another site, you will leave the Website and this Policy will not apply to your use of and activity on those other sites. We encourage you to read the legal notices posted on those sites, including their privacy policies. We shall have no responsibility or liability for your visitation to, and the data collection and use practices of, such other sites. This Policy applies solely to the information collected in connection with your use of this Website and does not apply to any practices conducted offline or in connection with any other websites.

Changes in Our Privacy Policy

We reserve the right to change this Policy at any time. Please refer to the date at the top of this page to determine when this Policy was last revised. Any changes to our privacy policy will become effective upon posting of the revised policy on the Website. By continuing to use the Service or Website following such changes, you will be deemed to have agreed to such changes. If you do not agree with the terms of this Policy, as it may be amended from time to time, in whole or part, please do not continue using the Service or the Website.

Contacting JD Supra

If you have any questions about this privacy statement, the practices of this site, your dealings with this Web site, or if you would like to change any of the information you have provided to us, please contact us at:

- hide
*With LinkedIn, you don't need to create a separate login to manage your free JD Supra account, and we can make suggestions based on your needs and interests. We will not post anything on LinkedIn in your name. Or, sign up using your email address.