Friday, November 15, 2019
Hawai'i Free Press

Current Articles | Archives

Monday, March 24, 2014
Guilty: Physical abuse, exploitation, and barbaric security measures at Maui Pineapple
By News Release @ 7:38 PM :: 5842 Views :: Kauai County, Maui County, Ethics, Agriculture, Labor

Federal Judge Finds Global Horizons Liable for Discriminating, Harassing, and Retaliating Against Hundreds of Thai Farm Workers in EEOC Suit

Farm Labor Contractor Physically Abused and Exploited Laborers, Agency Charged

News Release from US EEOC March 24, 2014

LOS ANGELES -- A federal judge has held that Global Horizons, Inc., a Beverly Hills-based farm labor contractor, is liable for the pattern or practice of harassing, discriminating, and retaliating against hundreds of Thai workers in the U.S., in violation of federal anti-discrimination laws, the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) announced today.  U.S. District Court Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi cited examples of physical abuse, exploitation, and barbaric security measures at Maui Pineapple Company's historic pineapple plantations and old worker dormitories where the Thai workers were forced to live and other abuses throughout Hawaii.

In the order, Judge Kobayashi stated "that Global Horizons subjected the Claimants to physical and verbal harassment based on Claimants' race and/or national origin in order to secure the Claimants' compliance and obedience and based upon stereotypical beliefs about Thai workers." Judge Kobayashi's order also states that discriminatory "disparate treatment of Thai workers was Global Horizons' standard operating procedure."

The EEOC initially filed this suit against Global Horizons and six farms in Hawaii in April 2011 alleging a pattern and practice of national origin and race discrimination, harassment and retaliation against Thai farm workers who were brought into the U.S. to work under the H2-A visa program.  High recruitment fees created a great debt for the Thai workers who faced abuses on the farms such as slapping, punching, humiliation, heavy surveillance and threats of being shot, deported or arrested. 

Judge Kobayashi found that the Thai workers were often paid less, made to work less desirable and more demeaning jobs and denied breaks, yet worked longer hours than non-Thai farm workers.  Food, housing and living conditions were also deplorable for the Thai workers, the EEOC said. 

With Judge Kobayashi's order in favor of the EEOC, the trial is now set for Nov. 18 to determine the amount of money that Global Horizons will pay for the abuses suffered by the Thai workers, as well as the measures that Global will need to implement to prevent future abuses. 

With respect to the farms, Del Monte Fresh Produce settled its lawsuit in November 2013 for $1.2 million along with extensive training and policy changes intended to safeguard the civil rights of farm workers.  Four additional farms in Hawaii (Captain Cook Coffee Company, Kauai Coffee Company, Kelena Farms and MacFarms of Hawaii) have reached settlements in principle and are finalizing their settlements with the EEOC.  The case against Maui Pineapple Company is ongoing.

The EEOC's companion case in Washington state against Global Horizons and two farms there is ongoing and set for trial on Sept. 15. 

All this alleged conduct violates Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964.  The lawsuits were filed in U.S. District Court for the District of Hawaii (EEOC v. Global Horizons, Inc. d/b/a Global Horizons Manpower, Inc., et al., Case No. CV-11-00257-LEK-RLP) and U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington (EEOC v. Global Horizons, Inc. d/b/a Global Horizons Manpower, Inc., et al, Case No. 2:11-cv-03045-EFS). 

"The judge's granting of judgment for liability vindicates the rights of the multitude of Thai farm workers who survived inhumane abuses and discrimination at the hands of their employers who controlled not only their working conditions but where they lived, what they could eat, and the basic right to move around freely," said Anna Y. Park, regional attorney for the EEOC's Los Angeles District, which includes Southern California and Hawaii in its jurisdiction.  "Employers will be held accountable for targeting workers for exploitation based on illegal stereotyping due to race or the country they come from."

Eliminating discriminatory policies affecting vulnerable workers who may be unaware of their rights under equal employment laws or reluctant or unable to exercise them is one of six national priorities identified by the EEOC's Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP).  These policies can include disparate pay, job segregation, harassment and human trafficking.

The EEOC enforces federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination.  Further information about the EEOC is available on its web site at www.eeoc.gov.

---30---

HR: Hawaii's Thai laborers 'exploited, abused, subject to barbaric security measures', federal judge rules

Related: Green hypocrites: Case & Omidyar’s Maui Land & Pine tied to human trafficking case

Related: Human Trafficking: Did the US DoJ Purposefully lose the Aloun Farms Case?

Links

TEXT "follow HawaiiFreePress" to 40404

Register to Vote

2aHawaii

808 Silent Majority

808 State Update AM940

ABCDEFG Blog

ACA Signups Hawaii

ACCE

ALEC

Alliance Defending Freedom

Aloha Life Advocates

Aloha Pregnancy Care Center

American Council of Trustees and Alumni

American Mothers of Hawaii

AMVETS-Hawaii

AntiPlanner

Antonio Gramsci Reading List

A Place for Women in Waipio

Audit The Rail

Ballotpedia Hawaii

Better Hawaii 

Blaisdell Memorial Project

Broken Trust 

Build More Hawaiian Homes Working Group

CAFR Hawaii

Castaway Conservative

Children's Alliance Hawaii

Children's Rights Institute

ChinaTownWatch.com

Christian Homeschoolers of Hawaii

Citizens for Recall

Cliff Slater's Second Opinion

Coffee Break

Conservative Forum for Hawaii

CSIS Pacific Forum

DAR Hawaii

DeedySupport.com

DVids Hawaii

E Hana Kakou Kelii Akina

E Māua Ola i Moku o Keawe

Farmers For Choice Hawaii

FIRE

Fix Oahu!

Follow the Money Hawaii

Frank in Hawaii

Front Page Magazine

Frontline: The Fixers

Genetic Literacy Project

Get Off Your Butts!

God, Freedom, America

Grassroot Institute

Habele.org

Hawaii Aganst Assisted Suicide

Hawaii Aquarium Fish Report

Hawaii Aviation Preservation Society

Hawaii Catholic TV

Hawaii Christian Coalition

Hawaii Cigar Association

Hawaii Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

Hawaii ConCon Info

Hawaii Credit Union Watch

Hawaii Crime Victims' Rights

Hawaii Crop Improvement Association

Hawaii Debt Clock

Hawaii Defending Marriage

Hawaii Defense Foundation

Hawaii Families for Educational Choice

Hawaii Family Advocates

Hawaii Family Forum

Hawaii Farmers and Ranchers United

Hawaii Farmer's Daughter

Hawaii Federalist Society

Hawaii Federation of Republican Women

Hawaii Firearm Community

Hawaii Fishermen's Alliance

Hawaii Future Project

Hawaii Gathering of Eagles

Hawaii History Blog

Hawaii Homeschool Association

Hawaii Jihadi Trial

Hawaii March for Life

Hawaii Meth Project

Hawaii's Partnership for Appropriate & Compassionate Care

Hawaii Public Charter School Network

Hawaii Rifle Association

Hawaii Right to Life -- Big Island

Hawaii Right to Life -- Oahu

Hawaii Shield Law Coalition

Hawaii Shippers Council

Hawaii Smokers Alliance

Hawaii State Data Lab

Hawaii Together

Heritage Foundation

HI Coalition Against Legalized Gambling

HIEC.Coop 

HiFiCo

Hiram Fong Papers

Homeschool Legal Defense Hawaii

Honolulu Homeless Crisis

Honolulu Navy League

Honolulu Traffic

Horns of Jericho Blog

House Minority Blog

House Republican Caucus YouTube

HPACC

Hump Day Report

I Vote Hawaii

If Hawaii News

Imua TMT

Inouye-Kwock, NYT 1992

Inside the Nature Conservancy

Inverse Condemnation

Investigative Project on Terrorism

Iowa Meets Maui

Jackson v Abercrombie

Jihad Watch

Judgepedia Hawaii

July 4 in Hawaii

Kahle v New Hope

Kakaako Cares

Kau TEA Party

Kauai Co GOP

Keep Hawaii's Heroes

KeyWiki

Land and Power in Hawaii

Legislative Committee Analysis Tool

Lessons in Firearm Education

Lingle Years

Malulani Foundation

Managed Care Matters -- Hawaii

Malama Pregnancy Center of Maui

Mauna Kea Recreational Users Group

MentalIllnessPolicy.org

Middle East Forum--The Legal Project

Mililani Conservatives for Change

Military Home Educators' Network Oahu

Missile Defense Advocacy

MIS Veterans Hawaii

Muslim Brotherhood in America

NAMI Hawaii

NARTH

Natatorium.org

National Christian Foundation Hawaii

National Parents Org Hawaii

National Wind Watch

New Zeal

NFIB Hawaii News

No GMO Means No Aloha

Northwest Economic Policy Seminar

Not Dead Yet, Hawaii

Now What I Really Think

NRA-ILA Hawaii

Oahu Alternative Transport

ObamaCare Abortion Hawaii

Obookiah

OHA Lies

Opt Out Today

OurFutureHawaii.com

Pacific Aviation Museum

Patients Rights Council Hawaii

PEACE Hawaii

People vs Machine

Pritchett Cartoons 

Pro-GMO Hawaii

P.U.E.O.

RailRipoff.com

Rental by Owner Awareness Assn

Republican Party -- Hawaii State

Research Institute for Hawaii USA

Rick Hamada Show

RJ Rummel

Robotics Organizing Committee

Salvage The Rail

Save the Plastic Bag

School Choice in Hawaii

SenatorFong.com

SIFE Remington

SIFE W. Oahu 

Sink the Jones Act

Smart About Marijuana--Hawaii

St Marianne Cope

State Budget Solutions Hawaii

State Policy Network

Statehood for Guam

Tax Foundation of Hawaii

The Harriet Tubman Agenda

The Long War Journal

The Real Hanabusa

Time Out Honolulu

Truth About Trade & Technology - Hawaii

UCC Truths

Union Members Know Your Rights

US Tax Foundation Hawaii Info

Valor in the Pacific

VAREP Honolulu

Waagey.org

West Maui Taxpayers Association

What Natalie Thinks

Whole Life Hawaii

Yes2TMT