EEOC sues Eden Foods for sexual harassment | United States Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC)

Organic food company owner repeatedly harassed female workers and ignored complaints about his behavior, federal agency charges

DETROIT — Eden Foods, Inc., a Clinton, Michigan-based organic food company that claims to be America’s leading health food company, violated federal law by subjecting female employees to repeated sexual harassment, the US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) alleged in a lawsuit filed today.

According to the EEOC lawsuit, Eden’s owner and president touched several female employees inappropriately. The EEOC’s pre-trial investigation found that the company owner routinely touched the backs, shoulders and legs of female employees, often sitting with his leg pressed against them for hours at a time. He also kissed them and touched at least one employee on the buttocks.

The EEOC also accused the owner of routinely injecting sex in the workplace by making lewd comments and referring to women in crude sexual terms. When Eden’s HR rep confronted the owner about some women’s complaints, he laughed and said, “all those girls want me.” Even after several women complained, his behavior continued, the EEOC said.

Such alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which prohibits sex discrimination (including sexual harassment). The EEOC filed suit (Case No. 2:22-CV-10881 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Michigan) after first attempting to reach a pre-litigation settlement through its conciliation process . The EEOC is seeking compensation for the employees and an injunction restraining the company from engaging in similar conduct in the future.

“Even 58 years after the passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, the EEOC continues to receive complaints of sexual harassment in the workplace,” said Miles Uhlar, attorney for the Detroit field office of the EEOC. ‘EEOC. “The EEOC will always stand up to those who believe their position of power entails the right to behave in this way.”

The EEOC’s Detroit Field Office is part of the Indianapolis District Office, which oversees Michigan, Indiana, Kentucky and parts of Ohio.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting discrimination in employment. More information is available at www.eeoc.gov.

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