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EEOC Seeks Damages for Disabled Iowa Plant Workers

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IOWA CITY, Iowa (AP) - The federal government is suing a now-defunct Texas company on behalf of 32 mentally disabled men who allegedly faced abuse and unsafe living conditions while employed as contract workers at an Iowa turkey plant.

Trial in the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission's civil case against Henry's Turkey Service, of Goldthwaite, Texas, is due to begin Tuesday in Davenport, Iowa.

The company put the men to work at the plant in West Liberty, Iowa, from the 1970s until 2009, when Iowa officials shut down the Henry's-run bunkhouse where they lived after finding unsafe conditions.

A judge has already ordered Henry's to pay more than $1.3 million in back pay after finding they had been paid roughly 41 cents per hour.

The EEOC is expected to seek unspecified compensatory and punitive damages.