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SECOND CALIFORNIA PACKINGHOUSE FOUND GUILTY OF SEX DISCRIMINATION

 OXNARD, Calif., June 1 /PRNrewswire/ -- A federal judge has ruled that the Oxnard Lemon Company, a lemon packinghouse, is guilty of discriminating against women in hiring from December 1987 to May 1991. This is the second Ventura County packinghouse in the past three years to be found liable for discriminating against women.
 The plaintiffs in the Oxnard Lemon case, a group of seven women, filed their lawsuit, Guzman, et al vs. Oxnard Lemon Company, in 1991, alleging that Oxnard Lemon discriminates against women in hiring, job assignments and promotions. On May 20, 1993, Judge David Kenyon, a federal judge in Los Angeles District Court, granted summary judgment for the plaintiffs on the hiring issue, ruling that the facts of the case were so clear that a trial on the hiring part of the case is not required. In substantiating this opinion, Judge Kenyon cited that men who left their names and phone numbers with Oxnard Lemon were called in to apply for general floor jobs, while women who acted in the identical manner were not given a chance to apply for those same jobs.
 The Oxnard Lemon case will continue with a trial set for September to resolve the promotions and job assignment charges. Questions about damages and injunctive relief will be resolved at a later date.
 The women in the Oxnard Lemon case are represented by Paul Strauss and Valeriano Saucedo of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, and Lee Pliscou of California Rural Legal Assistance (CRLA). DMB&G first became involved in the issue of sex discrimination in the packing industry through an earlier lawsuit it won against another Ventura County lemon packing company, Saticoy Lemon Association.
 The recent Oxnard Lemon decision follows the 1989 decision against Saticoy, which was found guilty of discriminating against women in hiring.
 The Saticoy class action grew out of a union organizing campaign led by Fritz Conle, from Local 78-B of the United Food and Commercial Workers. When women at Oxnard Lemon read about the Saticoy lawsuit in their local newspapers, they called Conle, who put them in touch with Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland.
 In response to the Oxnard Lemon decision, Saucedo said, "We're on a roll. Packinghouses in California should realize that they must hire women as well as men for these jobs. If they don't, they are likely to be sued. It is as simple as that."
 Pliscou said, "We are very happy for our plaintiffs and for the women they represent. The plaintiffs are doing a great service for other women in California by having the courage and strength to bring a case like this one."
 DMB&G recently filed a third, similar sex discrimination case against two Dole packinghouses: Buenaventura Lemon Company, located in Oxnard, and Central Valley Citrus, in Tulane County.
 Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland has a distinguished history of representing plaintiffs in employment-discrimination class actions. Since it was established in 1971, the 13-member firm has concentrated on employment, voting, and civil rights litigation and community-based development. Saucedo joined Davis, Miner in February to open its Visalia office to specialize in cases of this kind, along with and other work.
 -0- 6/1/93
 /CONTACT: Holly Sherman, Marilyn Katz Communications, 312-944-5706; Paul Strauss, 312-751-1170 and Valeriano Saucedo, 209-738-9905, both of Davis, Miner, Barnhill & Galland, P.C.; Lee Pliscou, California Rural Legal Assistance, 805-486-1068/


CO: Oxnard Lemon Company ST: California IN: FOD SU:

TM -- NY105 -- 4203 06/01/93 19:21 EDT
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Date:Jun 1, 1993
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