EUGENE, Ore. (CN) – A Christmas tree farm abused Mexican-Mixteco workers, calling them “scabby dog,” “damn Indian dog” and “piece of shit,” and forced them to contribute to a supervisor’s “beer fund,” the EEOC claims in Federal Court. One boss threatened a worker with a machete, according to the complaint.
Supervisors at Woodburn, Ore.-based Holiday Special Trees also exposed themselves to the Mixteco workers and prohibited them from speaking Mixteco because a boss said it “sounded ugly,” the EEOC says.
The EEOC sued the company on behalf of Salomon Vasquez Martinez and Diego Lazaro, claiming the Christmas tree farm discriminated against the men on the basis of their Mixtec ethnicity and their sex.
In addition to calling the men vile names and barring them from speaking their own language, an unnamed supervisor shoved Lazaro to the ground and threatened Martinez with his machete, according to the complaint.
The same supervisor also allegedly made sexually explicit comments to Martinez in Spanish, telling him, “I like your butt,” “I want to fuck you” and “you’re a virgin.”
He and another supervisor exposed their penises to Martinez on several occasions, the complaint states.
The second supervisor also “picked up Mr. Martinez from behind and rubbed his groin against [him]” and treated Martinez to similar harassing comments, such as, “I want to stick it in you” and “you’re tight,” the EEOC says.
The first supervisor called Lazaro an “old fag,” according to the complaint, and told him to “suck my dick,” claiming it would “feel really good” because Lazaro did not have any teeth.
Co-workers who are relatives of the first supervisor also exposed their penises to Lazaro several times, the EEOC says. It demands compensatory and punitive damages for the two men.
Mixtecos are native of the southern Mexican states of Oaxaca, Guerrero and Puebla. An ancient society that resisted the power of the Aztecs, its dialects are also known as Cuicatec and Trique. Their cultural hero, Eight Deer Tiger Claw, is known from some of the few painted codices to survive the Spanish inhumations. Skilled goldsmiths, the Mixtecos paid tribute to the Aztecs with gold work. The Aztecs’ failure to master metalworking was one of the reasons they succumbed to the Spanish conquistadors.