Wright County-based DeCoster Farms has settled a federal lawsuit filed on behalf of 11 workers who say their supervisors at north-central Iowa egg factories raped or sexually harassed them. The U-S Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says the Mexican women and a domestic violence group will share a one-point-five million dollar settlement. Iowa Ag-Construction recruits workers for several egg farms in northern Iowa. It also was named in the lawsuit and has agreed to the deal, but neither company admits liability. In January, the E-E-O-C determined that some supervisors employed by DeCoster Farms sexually assaulted and harassed female employees. The E-E-O-C says some of the women were undocumented workers and were threatened with retaliation if they complained. The company says it fired the three supervisors accused of the sexual abuse before the allegations arose and for unrelated reasons. DeCoster Farms officials say they regret the incidents and that such discrimination would have never been tolerated if they had known about it. The company has set up remedial policies.
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