On April 1, 2013, a jury in Iowa City, Iowa awarded $420 million to 32 mentally disabled employees who suffered years of abuse and discrimination. The group of employees worked for Henry’s Turkey Service in Atalissa – each man is being awarded $2 million in compensatory damages and %5.5 million in punitive damages.
The company is guilty of sending hundreds of disabled men to work in a meat-processing plant for 41 cents an hour. This ill treatment had been done for over 40 years. The company sent men from Texas to Iowa to live in a century old school building transformed into a bunkhouse. The company’s procedures were eradicated when state officials were made aware of the conditions inside the bunkhouse along with the fact that the company did not carry a license to care for disabled individuals.
In addition, the company failed to provide their employees with disability services, health insurance, or Iowa Medicaid. As a result, many of the men did not receive medical or dental care for years. Furthermore, the bunkhouse did not provide central heat and violated fire safety. One social worker testified that some men were punished by being taken to a garage where they were physically abused by caretakers.
The story above is extremely tragic, but truly significant to illustrate that all employees, disabled or not, deserve fair treatment and workers’ rights. By California law, all employers should harbor a safe work environment where employees feel protected and unharmed. In the described incident, the employers were taken advantage of and mistreated the employees because they were disabled. Employers are not allowed to discriminate for reasons including, but not limited to:
- National origin
Workers Compensation Attorney
If you feel that you were discriminated against by your employer and mistreated, you should contact one of our workers’ compensation attorneys at the Rawa Law Group. With the legal assistance of our workers’ compensation attorneys, you may be able to earn monetary compensation for your pain and suffering. Contact us today in order to protect your worker’s rights.