Friday, April 26, 2013

The EEOC Hates These Apples!

There is a great scene in a very old movie, The Jerk, where a crazed killer is shooting at Steve Martin's character.  Steve is working at a gas station, standing next to some oil cans.  The shots miss Steve and hit the oil cans.  When advised of the shooter, Steve yells out, "He hates these cans."  He runs to another location for safety but the shots keep coming.  He then realizes he is near more cans.  It's a funny scene.  If you want a few yucks, click here and watch it.  Sorry, there are a few vulgarities, but rather mild by today's standards. 

I'm thinking the EEOC hates apples.  It filed two lawsuits against Evans Fruit in the Yakima, Washington area.  In the first lawsuit, the EEOC claimed that 14 female workers were subjected to a sexually hostile work environment.  The jury rejected the claim and found in favor of Evans Fruit. 

The second case alleged that Evans Fruit retaliated against employees for participating in its discrimination investigation.  That's what the EEOC does you know.  It asks other employees if they are aware of any unlawful practices.  I really hate that.  I think that this practice actually encourages people to exaggerate or even fabricate stories.  Of course, the EEOC then tries to use the evidence to expand its investigations and lawsuits.  These types of investigations and meetings create litigation and contention where it did not exist and need not exist. 

The EEOC held a meeting for workers at the local library.  Evans Fruit sent two employees to see what the EEOC was doing.  The employees sat and listened.  They did not participate.  They did not yell.  They did not threaten.  They merely observed the actions of a taxpayer funded entity as it held a meeting at a taxpayer funded, and public, library. 

Turns out the EEOC did not like people listening.  So it filed a complaint against Evans Fruit alleging retaliation.  This case didn't go far.  The court dismissed the action, concluding that without evidence of threats, there is nothing to connect any actions by Evans Fruit with the library meeting. 

I hope the EEOC focuses its efforts on apples.  I'm afraid, however, that the EEOC doesn't like oranges, peaches or other fruit and vegetables grown in California either.  Or perhaps it is more accurate to say they don't like those "unsophisticated" farmers and other agricultural employers. 

And just for a few more yucks, I will send a Jamba Juice card to the first person who emails me the full name of Steve Martin's character in The Jerk.  The Orange Dream Machine will take your mind off apples and the EEOC. 

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