Latina Workers Sue Hudson Valley’s Ideal Snacks for Sexual Discrimination

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: January 11, 2018

Contact: John Garcia, Director of Communications, 212-739-7513, 917-673-9095 or jgarcia@latinojustice.org

Seven Latina factory workers on January 5, 2018 filed a sexual harassment suit against Ideal Snacks Corp citing numerous instances of gender-based discrimination, sexual harassment and retaliation by its managers and supervisors.

The suit charges daily harassment that included male managers and supervisors grabbing the plaintiffs’ buttocks, subjecting plaintiffs to derogatory comments on parts of their bodies and retaliating against the workers when they complained.

The suit demands that the company be found in violation of both federal and state civil rights laws and pay damages to the workers.

“Sexual harassment and discrimination is not only prevalent in visible public spaces or against powerful individuals, but it has long been an insidious part of abusive workplace conditions that immigrant women and low-wage workers experience,” said Natasha Bannan, LatinoJustice Associate Counsel. “Employers often presume their actions will be immune from scrutiny because they can exploit their workers’ vulnerability, but these seven Latina workers refused to remain silent.”

"This case shows just how pervasive sexual harassment still is today. It is not just hurting women in Hollywood and Silicon Valley, it is hurting women everywhere, like the plaintiffs here who provide the food to our tables." said LatinoJustice Senior Counsel Barbara Franco Olshansky.

Ideal Snacks Corp. is one of the Northeast’s largest snack foods manufacturer with a 250,000 square feet production facility in the Village of Liberty, in Sullivan County, New York. The company operates 24/7 with employees doing processing, manufacturing, mixing, flavoring, packaging, and distributing various types of snack foods.

It also manufactures snack foods for well-known U.S. company brands. The company is a division of BFY Holdings and owned by an international equity firm.

The complaint describes the horrific working conditions that would become worse after workers would complain to the plant manager about the discriminatory conduct by numerous supervisors. The suit describes harassment, assigning the workers to more arduous physical work and less desirable duties and refusing to raise their wages when other workers in the same position were receiving them.

In one case, a supervisor punished a worker when she refused to accede to inappropriate and intimate proposals. Another supervisor threatened to call immigration authorities if the worker continued to complain about his actions. The supervisors also made threats to fire workers.

The case was filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York.

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