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Judge approves $2.4M settlement for Thai farmworkers in Hawaii

Judge approves $2.4M settlement for Thai farmworkers in Hawaii

A federal judge has approved $2.4 million in settlements between the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission and four Hawaii farms on behalf of about 500 Thai farmworkers who were allegedly subjected to national origin discrimination and retaliation, the agency said Friday.

Judge Leslie E. Kobayashi, of Federal District Court in Honolulu approved the settlement, which had been announced in June.

It provides for monetary relief, options for jobs and benefits, and housing, other reimbursements of expense and sweeping junctive relief remedies benefiting about 500 Thai workers in the EEOC's case.

Defendants named in the settlement were Captain Cook, Hawaii-based Mac Farms of Hawaii L.L.C.; Kalaheo, Hawaii-based Kauai Coffee Co. Inc.; Kunai, Hawaii-based Kelena Farms Inc.; and Burlingame, California-based Captain Cook Coffee Co. Ltd.

As part of the four consent decrees finalized last week, Mac Farms will pay $1.6 million; Kauai Coffee will pay $425,000, Kelena Farms will pay $275,000 and Captain Cook Coffee will pay $100,000 directly to the victims.

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