Sunday, July 15, 2007

Yakima Valley farmworkers win $1.8 million in lawsuit | Seattle Times Newspaper

Yakima Valley farmworkers win $1.8 million in lawsuit, Seattle Times, July 14, 2007.

Two Eastern Washington fruit growers and the labor contractor they used to bring legal Thai workers to their farms three years ago have been ordered to pay $1.8 million to some 600 Yakima Valley farmworkers — some of them illegal immigrants — who claim they were displaced.

A federal judge this week found Los Angeles-based Global Horizons, and growers Valley Fruit Orchards of Wapato and Green Acre Farms of Harrah, both in Yakima County, in violation of state and federal labor laws, including willfully withholding wages and failing to provide information in Spanish about available jobs.

The ruling entitles each farmworker to damages ranging from $2,000 to $4,000.
The plaintiffs are represented by Lori Jordan Isley and Mirta Laura Contreras of Columbia Legal Services in Yakima, Joe Morrison of Columbia Legal Services in Wenatchee and Richard W. Kuhling of Paine, Hamblen, Coffin, Brooke and Miller, LLP, a Spokane law firm.

Not all of the plaintiffs' claims are resolved by the court order. Trial is scheduled for September 10.

Laura Contreras is profiled on WSBA's Diversity and Leadership page.

Thanks: Michele Storms.

No comments: