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Viva_La_Revolution Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 02:41 PM
Original message
Texas company sued for abuse of Iowa workers
Edited on Wed Apr-06-11 02:54 PM by Viva_La_Revolution
Source: Houston Chronicle

DES MOINES, Iowa The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission is suing a Texas company that employed 31 mentally disabled men at an Iowa turkey processor, claiming the company severely abused and discriminated against the men for more than 20 years.

The agency field the lawsuit against Hill Country Farms Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Davenport, Iowa.

The company also did business as Henry's Turkey Service, which provided the workers to West Liberty Foods. The lawsuit claims the Henry's Turkey Service denied the workers lawful wages, subjected them to verbal and physical harassment and required them to live in a dilapidated bunkhouse in Atalissa, Iowa, and denied them medical care.

Telephone messages left for company representatives were not immediately returned.

Read more: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/tx/7509718.html



BreakingNews Breaking News
Feds sue Texas company for alleged abuse of mentally disabled workers at Iowa turkey plant http://1.usa.gov/eqc3kZ
37 minutes ago

link is to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission Press Release.

"Specifically, the complaint alleges that that the owners and staffers of Henrys Turkey denied the workers lawful wages, paying them only $65 a month for full-time work; subjected them to abusive verbal and physical harassment; restricted their freedom of movement; and imposed other harsh terms and conditions of employment such as requiring them to live in deplorable and sub-standard living conditions, and failing to provide adequate medical care when needed.

Verbal abuses included frequently referring to the workers as retarded, dumb ass and stupid. Class members reported acts of physical abuse including hitting, kicking, at least one case of handcuffing, and forcing the disabled workers to carry heavy weights as punishment. The Henrys Turkey supervisors, also the workers purported caretakers, were often dismissive of complaints of injuries or pain.

Such alleged conduct violates the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as amended by the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act (ADAAA), which prohibit discrimination on the basis of disability, including intellectual disabilities, in terms and conditions of employment and wages; and bars disability-based harassment. The EEOC filed suit after first attempting to resolve the matter through conciliation."


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jberryhill Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:00 PM
Response to Original message
1. Wouldn't be the first time....

http://www.westlibertyindex.com/article.php?viewID=2963

Department of Labor files lawsuit against Henrys Turkey Service
by Lindsay Hoeppner November 24, 2009

More than nine months after local, state and federal authorities descended upon the dilapidated century-old schoolhouse turned bunkhouse containing 21 mentally handicapped men in Atalissa, new allegations have surfaced.
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yellerpup Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:05 PM
Response to Original message
2. Imprisonment and torture.
:kick:
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HankyDubs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:08 PM
Response to Original message
3. more "burdensome" regulations
unpopular with the "bidness community."
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a simple pattern Donating Member (426 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:09 PM
Response to Original message
4. Stealing disabled mens' Social Security checks?
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Jumping John Donating Member (597 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:19 PM
Response to Original message
5. This is an example of the ones that the Rethugs say will trickle down the wealth. n/t
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EC Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:27 PM
Response to Original message
6. This would be their ideal model of how all of us should
work. Living in company owned hovels and horrid conditions. Working for low wages and no bennies. Making sure they demoralize you and leave you with no dignity.


They've done it before with no ill feelings and this shows they are perfectly willing to put humans through this sort of life again...it's not left in the past...they salivate for this model.
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benld74 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:28 PM
Response to Original message
7. I hear there's a special place in Hell for people doing things like this,,,,
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Lone_Star_Dem Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 03:45 PM
Response to Original message
8. It's about time something is done about this. Below is a story from 2009
This is a long and detailed article regarding a disgusting situation which has been known about and disregarded since at least 1979. Sadly, the man responsible died in 2008 after having spent a lifetime reaping the benefits of abusing and exploiting mentally disabled men it two states.

And though Texas and federal officials have said they had little or no prior knowledge of the operation, the array of plaques on Johnsons wall and the recollections and records of those in Goldthwaite reveal a long history of government awareness and oversight.

It was a decades-old arrangement born out of the state of Texas desire for farms to take older, mentally challenged wards off their hands. It was one of the earliest attempts to place such men with employers, explained Robert Womack, a Goldthwaite welder who once worked at Hill Country Farms and helped convert the Atalissa school building into a dormitory for the men.

<snip>

Although state officials insist no records of this arrangement exist, Jane Ann Johnsons office wall and her own records tell a different story.

On the wall is a framed commendation from then-Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes. A 1987 certificate from an old Texas social services agency hangs nearby. A plaque from an organization known in 1968 as the National Association for Retarded Children also thanks Johnson for his efforts.

More: http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/metropolitan/627470...
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:19 PM
Response to Reply #8
10. "known about and disregarded since at least 1979" "a long history of government awareness" Ugh!
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goobergoober01 Donating Member (58 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:11 PM
Response to Original message
9. in a similar story, the GOP of both MN and AZ are hiring mentally disabled politicians
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:43 PM
Response to Reply #9
15. But we are treating them very well.
:sarcasm:
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nosmokes Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:21 PM
Response to Original message
11. "No criminal charges have been filed." WTF NOT?!?!
If this ain't criminal then just what on this blue planet is?
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Maine-ah Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 04:41 PM
Response to Original message
12. KnR
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democrank Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:06 PM
Response to Original message
13. Just plain awful
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idrahaje Donating Member (143 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:28 PM
Response to Original message
14. so is that Field (Sic) or is that just a spellchecking gone bad? n/t
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jwirr Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:46 PM
Response to Original message
16. As a social worker who has worked with this group of people for
years, I want to say that some stupid ass social worker really fucked up and was not doing their jobs. They should also be sued - the country responsible for each of those abused workers should be sued for neglect. The counties receive money to take care of them. They did not.
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cutlassmama Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 05:47 PM
Response to Original message
17. corporations are psychopaths
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Auntie Bush Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Wed Apr-06-11 08:07 PM
Response to Reply #17
18. So are Republicans. nt
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