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Hendrix Produce, Inc. To Pay Over $100,000 to Settle Lawsuit Brought by Farmworkers

October 14, 2014

One of the biggest Vidalia onion farms in Georgia agreed to pay more than $100,000 to settle a federal lawsuit brought by farmworkers. The settlement was the subject of an article published in Atlanta’s biggest newspaper, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Read the article in the AJC here.

In the lawsuit, 30 workers alleged that Hendrix Produce, Inc. and farm labor contractor Yesenia Merino paid them well below the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour from 2009 to 2012. Last week, a federal judge approved the settlement. As part of the settlement, the workers will receive more than $60,000 in back wages and job-related reimbursements. One of the workers, Antonio Hernandez-Hernandez, said: “We fought for our rights, and I am glad that justice was done.”

Spanish:

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Farm Workers Sue Produce Grower For Minimum Wage Violations

August 15, 2014 

On April 25, 2014, Erendida Franco-Hernandez and four other workers filed suit against Hamilton Growers/Southern Valley for minimum wage violations. The farm is located in the Moultrie region and contracts more than 300 Mexican workers every year. The lawsuit covers work done in 2011, 2012 and 2013 and requires that the farm pay workers their promised wages and the required reimbursement for travel and immigration expenses, like their H-2A visas. Eight workers have joined the suit and others that worked for the farm previously can also join by filing a Consent to Sue. Contacting us is free and confidential -- 1-800-537-7496 (from the U.S.) and 001-800-537-7496 (from Mexico). We can also be reached by email at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or through private message on our Facebook site.

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GLSP Attorney Weighs in on Vidalia Onion Shipping Date Dispute

April 22, 2014

In a letter to the editor in the AJC, Georgia Legal Services Senior Staff Attorney Dawson Morton weighs in on the recent headlines made by the dispute over Vidalia Onion shipment dates. Read the AJC article below.


There’s human side to Vidalia onion spat

There has been much recent press coverage of Delbert Bland and his early Vidalia onions (“Ga. judge won’t stop rule on Vidalia onions,” News, April 16), but there are far more pressing issues than whether or not Vidalia onions ship early. While the Agriculture Commissioner and Mr. Bland fight about shipping dates, the real concern should be not whether the onions are sweet enough to ship, but rather, whether they have been soured by poor labor conditions.

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Georgia Farmworkers' Settlement with Stanley Farms Hits the Press

June 26, 2014

On June 23, a Southern District of Georgia Federal Court judge approved the consent order drawn up between farmworker Plaintiffs and Defendant Stanley Farms. In addition to the $92,500 the Farm agreed to pay in backwages to workers and litigation fees, there are provisions for important non-monetary changes that we hope to see have a broader effect for workers.

Read the AJC Coverage

Read the Associated Press Article

Read Coverage in The Packer

 

American Farm Workers Sue Vidalia Onion Growers for not Paying Minimum Wage

 

Americans claim the grower paid less than minimum wage, transported them in vehicles without seast, and paid the Americans less than foreign guestworkers on H-2A visas.

LYONS, GA:  On Friday, April 12, four American farmworkers together with 16 former co-workers sued Stanley Farms, LLC and its managers.  The Stanleys cultivate about 1,200 acres of Vidalia onions, or one in ten of all Vidalia onions grown, and hire more than two hundred seasonal farm workers. Our clients allege that in each of the last three years the Stanleys ran an operation which paid less than minimum wage, caused illegal wage deductions and transportation in unsafe vehicles.  The complaint also alleges that the Americans worked alongside foreign H-2A workers who were offered higher wages. At the start of this year’s Vidalia onion season, the suit is a reminder of the labor and workplace abuses prevalent in the Vidalia onion industry. Stanley Farms is an integrated grower, packer, processor and shipper of Vidalia onions and has been featured on the Food Network. 

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