Judge Edward F. Shea of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Washington has entered a default judgment of over $7.6 million in the EEOC’s favor against the now defunct business, Global Horizons. As early as 2011, the EEOC has brought claims against Defendant Global Horizons, Inc. alleging a pattern or practice of unlawful discriminatory employment practices against foreign migrant workers based on their race, Asian, and their national origin, Thai. Judge Shea found that Global’s discriminatory practices were “reprehensible” and vindicated the Thai farmworkers who suffered from “fear, anxiety, anger, intimidation, humiliation, shame, and an unrelenting sense of imprisonment.”
Judge Shea awarded compensatory damages of $5,000 per month worked to every claimant. Additionally, each claimant was awarded $15,000 per month in punitive damages. Punitive damages ordered by Judge Shea were based on a specific finding that Global’s discriminatory conduct was “clearly and convincingly” “malicious and with reckless disregard” of the farmworkers’ “federally protected rights… health and safety, ethnicity, and financial vulnerability.” For those claimants who were detained by police for an entire day because Global confiscated their passports, each was awarded additional compensatory damages in the amount of $2,500 per claimant and additional punitive damages in the amount of $7,500 per claimant. In total, the Court entered default judgment in the amount of $7,658,500.00.