Company that employed "Atalissa 21" sued by EEOC - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Company that employed "Atalissa 21" sued by EEOC

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A Texas company that employed 21 mentally disabled men at a turkey processing plant in Atalissa is now being sued by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

The EEOC claims Hill Country Farm's severely abused and discriminated against the men for more than 20 years.

The suit was filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Davenport.

The company, which also did business as Henry's Turkey Service, provided the workers to West Liberty Foods.

The lawsuit claims that Henry's Turkey Service denied the workers lawful wages, subjected them to verbal and physical harassment and required them to live in a dilapidated bunkhouse in Atalissa.  The suit also claims they denied the men medical care.

The agency is seeking lost wages for the workers along with punitive and other damages.

Roger Munns, with DHS, says the 21 men that were removed from the bunkhouse on February 9, 2009 are doing well.

Munns says all of the men were originally from Texas and eight have returned there to family or to receive services there.

The remaining 13 live in Waterloo and receive services from Exceptional Persons Inc., which are paid for by Medicaid.

Nine of them have part time jobs, three consider themselves retired, and one is receiving job skills training.

He says the men are in generally good health.  A report done in March says overall they have adjusted to life in Iowa and their lives are more stable

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