NEW BEDFORD, MA / ACCESSWIRE / April 24, 2019 / Based upon false information, the National Council for Occupational Safety and Health (COSH) wrongly named Atlantic Capes Fisheries on its “Dirty Dozen” companies list of 2019.
In January, Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Inc. (ACF) reached a settlement with the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and four women in a sexual harassment lawsuit. The lawsuit stems from claims that largely predate ACF’s acquisition of an operational and fully staffed IQF Custom Packing, Inc. (IQF) processing plant in Fall River, Mass., in 2013. The majority of the 175 employees at the IQF facility were temporary employees, employed by BJ’s Service Company, Inc. (BJ’s).
On its “Dirty Dozen” list, COSH falsely stated, “two women who complained were fired.”
In fact, other than a brief period of layoff for two of the women (for operational reasons related to the installation of new equipment), ACF is pleased that three of the four named plaintiffs have worked continuously at ACF for a number of years and remain valued employees in the company’s operations. One of the women voluntarily chose not to return to work after sustaining an injury unrelated to her allegations.
Conversely, the workers alleged to have behaved inappropriately are no longer employed by either ACF or BJ’s. The employees separated from ACF and BJs were the alleged perpetrators, not their accusers.
When ACF acquired the Fall River facility in 2013, it immediately put in place equal opportunity, anti-discrimination and anti-sexual harassment policies and practices. ACF initially kept the IQF management team in place for the sake of continuity and were only belatedly made aware of the allegations that gave rise to this lawsuit. As soon as ACF management learned of general allegations of harassment, the company immediately invited workers to come forward and share specific concerns, and hired counsel to assist in investigating these complaints. ACF has a zero sexual harassment tolerance policy. ACF has provided sexual harassment (and other) training to all of its workers over the last several months.
The costs of the settlement were split between ACF and BJ’s.
SOURCE: Atlantic Capes Fisheries, Inc.
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