A Beardstown employer is facing a federal civil rights complaint from a former employee.
Dawnya Vargus filed a complaint in U.S. District Court in Springfield last week against JBS USA Holdings of Greenly, Colorado, accusing them of gender discrimination, harassment and wrongful termination during her employment at the Swift Pork Co. plant located in Beardstown.
According to the Journal Courier, Vargus states in the suit that during her 22 year employment at the plant, she had risen through the ranks to the position of a line supervisor, and was the only female line supervisor on her shift.
The court filing states that Vargus began receiving harassment from Manuel Magrano following his appointment as Superintendent.
Magrano allegedly “targeted (Vargas) and subjected her to pervasive harassment and discrimination due to her sex, and retaliation for reporting the discriminatory treatment she received,” according to the court filing.
Vargus states in the complaint that Magrano instructed her to complete portions of his work, as well as her own, and that his treatment of her lead to insubordination from male subordinates under her charge, resulting in those subordinates ignoring quality control procedures and U.S. Department of Agriculture guidelines.
Vargus reportedly faced further harassment after reporting the treatment to JBS human resources representatives, including being put on a “performance improvement plan” and receiving a write up, which she insists was baseless and not deserved.
The suit states Vargus was unlawfully terminated following the harassment. Vargus is asking for punitive damages and back pay, and a jury trial has been requested.
As of press time, JBS USA Holdings has not responded to the allegations listed in the court filing.