Feds Sue Company Alleging 20 Years Of ADA Violations
The federal government filed suit Wednesday against a Texas company alleging that employees with intellectual disabilities were discriminated against and severely abused for over 20 years in violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
The lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, or EEOC, charges that Henry’s Turkey violated the rights of 31 workers by paying them just $65 a month for full-time work at a turkey processing plant in Iowa.
In addition, the suit indicates that the workers were deprived of medical care, forced to live in substandard conditions and subjected to physical and verbal harassment including names like “retarded,” “dumb ass” and “stupid.”
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Due to their disabilities, the men were unaware of the extent to which their rights were being violated, the EEOC says in the suit.
“The isolation and exploitation these men suffered for many years, while the fruits of their labor were cruelly consumed by their employer cannot be explained away by good intentions, nor can the violations of the ADA be excused as antiquated social policy,” said Robert A. Canino, an EEOC attorney who investigated the case.
The EEOC suit is asking for back pay and damages.
In a separate action, the U.S. Department of Labor is also suing Henry’s Turkey alleging minimum wage and overtime violations.
The company is already facing significant fines for breaking Iowa laws.