Federal charges filed in Iowa turkey farm case

The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) filed a lawsuit against a Texas company, Hill County Farms, which placed 31 men with intellectual disabilities at Henry’s Turkey Service in Davenport, Iowa.  EEOC alleged that because of their disabilities the men were subjected to demeaning treatment and discrimination.  The men were paid $65 a month, which is about 40¢ an hour. They endured physical abuse and verbal harassment, lived in squalid living quarters, did not receive needed medical care, and were not allowed to move about at will.  Due to widespread media coverage, Henry’s Turkey closed in 2009.  EEOC will ask for lost wages for two years for the men and compensatory and punitive damages. The Department of Labor is pursuing a separate lawsuit against Henry’s Turkey Service under the Fair Labor Standards Act for violations of minimum wage and overtime rules.

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