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Bob Ferguson


One female farmworker reported the supervisor raped her repeatedly

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PASCO — Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced today that Pasco-based Greenridge Farms and Baker Produce will pay $470,000 to resolve his civil rights lawsuit over multiple allegations of sexual assault and sexual harassment of female farmworkers by one of the companies’ supervisors.  Ferguson also asserts the companies retaliated against them when they spoke out.

All of the money garnered in today’s resolution will go to the four women who reported the assaults, harassment and retaliation. One of the workers also reported multiple rapes to law enforcement.

Greenridge and Baker are two large farming operations formerly owned by well-known Washington grower Frank Tiegs until his death earlier this year. Ferguson asserts the companies violated the Washington Law Against Discrimination and Title VII of the federal Civil Rights Act by subjecting female employees to sexual harassment and retaliating against employees who rejected the supervisor’s advances or who complained about his conduct.

The conduct ranged from at least 2018 up until the supervisor, Antonio “Junior” Garcilazo, was fired in March 2024. Greenridge and Baker are liable for Garcilazo’s conduct because of his supervisory role with the companies.

“These companies knew that this manager was harassing and assaulting their employees, but did not stop it,” Ferguson said. “He abused his authority over these women for sexual favors. These workers deserved to be heard. All workers should have a safe work environment free from abuse.”

“I spoke up so that no other women would be harmed,” said one of the four women who reported the supervisor’s abuse. “We raised our voices and succeeded in preventing sexual harassment. I want to tell other workers: Don’t be afraid to speak up. Don’t be afraid of retaliation. You can’t stay silent because you won’t be able to work comfortably, you will be afraid and even become sick. You should speak up before you become even sicker. We are not alone.”

In addition to paying $470,000, the consent decree, filed today in Benton/Franklin County Superior Court, bars Greenridge Farms and Baker Produce from rehiring Garcilazo in any capacity. It also requires the companies to institute new anti-discrimination and sexual harassment policies within 60 days that encourage employees to come forward with complaints. The policies must include specific procedures for making anonymous discrimination or harassment complaints in the worker’s primary language, among other requirements.

Four women come forward with allegations

The Attorney General’s office learned of complaints about Greenridge Farming and Baker Produce through the Northwest Justice Project in June 2023. Four women who worked at the companies ultimately came forward with allegations during the Attorney General’s investigation, ranging from rape to sexual harassment. Those who reported the harassment and abuse, threatened to report it, or denied Garcilazo’s advances, faced workplace retaliation, including reduced hours, negative performance reviews and even termination.

One worker reported multiple rapes and assaults over multiple years, including taking her to isolated locations like fields or orchards to rape her. The assaults included physical abuse, including hitting her and pulling her hair. After years of abuse and intimidation, she filed a complaint with her employer. To her knowledge, Garcilazo was allowed to continue his supervisory role with only a verbal warning. After her complaint, her work hours were significantly reduced.

She also notified Franklin County Sheriff’s Office of the rapes. After an investigation, a detective forwarded the case to Franklin County prosecutors for potential rape charges in July 2023. Charges have not yet been filed.

A second woman was introduced to Garcilazo through a friend that worked for Greenridge in an attempt to try to get a job. After the introduction, Garcilazo began sexually harassing her over the phone. She repeatedly denied his advances, but endured his phone calls as she was still hopeful to be hired by Greenridge.

Later, Garcilazo assaulted this second woman and made sexual comments to her when she visited Greenridge to see a friend. Garilazo later showed up at her homed uninvited. She believed he was under the influence of drugs. He demanded sex form her, and, fearing he would become violent, she complied.

Soon after, Garcilazo had the woman come to the worksite to learn how to do the job. She came, thinking it was a way to get a recommendation for employment. While she was at the worksite, she reported that he blocked the path out of the fields with his truck, and, when she stopped her car and got out, he raped her. After that worker was hired by Baker Produce, Garcilazo continued to call her asking for sex, making sexual comments and calling her a gender-based slur. She later filed a sexual harassment complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission.

She was fired less than two months after filing her complaint.

The Attorney General’s investigation found a third woman who reported that Garcilazo repeatedly asked her on dates, and that he demanded oral sex from her to repay him for loaning her $20 in a time of need. She denied his advances and tried to pay him back when she received her paycheck. When he refused her money and continued to insist on repaying him with a sexual act, she threatened to file a complaint against him with company supervisors.

Though he stopped his demand for oral sex, he began giving her bad work performance reviews and frequently re-assigned her to different work areas. She told investigators that she was aware of other female workers Garcilazo had harassed, including a co-worker who he repeatedly asked out on dates and exposed himself to. “Everyone knows about Junior” the worker told investigators.

A fourth woman detailed to Attorney General’s Office investigators multiple unwanted advances from Garcilazo nearly every time she interacted with him, including asking for sex in exchange for extra hours and overtime. He also asked her for oral sex, asked her to watch videos of oral sex on his phone, and frequently made comments about her body. He also tried to grab her breasts on multiple occasions, but she was able to quickly back away. She says he would brag about having sex with other women at the farm, even naming them.

Wing Luke Civil Rights Division Chief Colleen Melody, Investigator Supervisor Alma Poletti and Paralegal Logan Young handled the case for the Attorney General’s Office.

Know your rights

Ferguson’s Wing Luke Civil Rights Division produced guides designed to be posted in workplaces to educate Washingtonians about their rights regarding sexual harassment in the workplace.

The flyer, available in both Spanish and English, lays out the definition and types of sexual harassment, requirements for employers and steps employees can take if they experience sexual harassment.

All forms of sexual harassment are illegal, and employers may be liable for this behavior if they do not take the proper steps to address it.

More information on employer responsibilities, including downloadable copies of the flyers, can be found here.

Protecting farmworkers from sexual harassment, discrimination

Ferguson’s Civil Rights Division has successfully brought cases against several companies to stop sexual harassment and discrimination against farmworkers.

Ferguson filed a lawsuit in August 2022 against Sunnyside-based Ostrom for unfair, deceptive and discriminatory actions against female farmworkers and Washington-based workers at its mushroom farm. An investigation revealed that Ostrom fired its largely female and Washington-based workforce and replaced them with male foreign guest workers hired through the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program, in violation of the Washington Law Against Discrimination.

As a result of the lawsuit, in May 2023, Ostrom paid $3.4 million, which Ferguson used to pay farmworkers affected by Ostrom’s illegal conduct.

In 2021, Ferguson announced that Great Columbia Berry Farms, a blueberry grower in Walla Walla County, paid $350,000 to resolve his office’s civil rights enforcement action. Ferguson asserted that one of the company’s managers raped at least one female worker, sexually harassed several female workers over the course of years and retaliated against those workers who spoke out against his conduct. The recovery also went to the women harmed by the conduct.

In a third case, Quincy-based agricultural company Horning Brothers was required to pay $525,000 in 2018 over sexual harassment of multiple female agricultural workers, discriminatory hiring and sex-segregated employment practices and retaliation against workers who reported the improper conduct. The lawsuit asserted that the operation and policies of Horning Brothers allowed its foreman to sexually harass and discriminate against female employees for several years. The supervisor and the company retaliated against employees who rejected his advances or complained about his conduct. Ferguson used the $525,000 to compensate workers harmed by the harassment and retaliation.

The Wing Luke Civil Rights Division works to protect the rights of all Washington residents by enforcing state and federal anti-discrimination laws. It is named for Wing Luke, who served as an Assistant Attorney General for the state of Washington in the late 1950s and early 1960s. He went on to become the first person of color elected to the Seattle City Council and the first Asian American elected to public office in the Pacific Northwest.


Washington’s Attorney General serves the people and the state of Washington. As the state’s largest law firm, the Attorney General’s Office provides legal representation to every state agency, board, and commission in Washington. Additionally, the Office serves the people directly by enforcing consumer protection, civil rights, and environmental protection laws. The Office also prosecutes elder abuse, Medicaid fraud, and handles sexually violent predator cases in 38 of Washington’s 39 counties. Visit www.atg.wa.gov to learn more.

Media Contact:

Brionna Aho, Communications Director, (360) 753-2727; Brionna.aho@atg.wa.gov

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