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Feds File Harassment Suit Against Hermiston Onion Grower

OPB | Oct. 3, 2012 2:53 p.m. | Portland

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The federal government filed suit this week against a Hermiston onion grower for alleged harassment of a woman who was beaten by her husband at work. She claims River Point Farms knew about the abuse.

Joaquina Ramirez claims her husband Andreas beat her up in a workplace confrontation that ended in his arrest in 2010. She was pregnant at the time.

Ramirez claims her boss, Lazaro Rodriguez, who was a friend of her husband, took his side.

According to Ramirez, Rodriguez told her she should submit to her husband, that women should be beaten.

She says he propositioned her, and after her husband’s arrest, he fired her.

And through it all,  U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission says River Point knew what was happening, and did not step in.

The EEOC’s Mike Baldonado says domestic violence is more common in the workplace than people think.

“A study of domestic violence survivors  found that 74% of employed battered women were harassed by their partner while they were at work.”

The company had no comment.

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