Several workers from a Vidalia onion farm in Georgia are taking legal steps against their employer in a wage and hour complaint. The disgruntled employees claim that they were paid less than their fellow workers for the same work. The wage and hour complaint stems from grievances filed by almost two dozen current and former employees.
The suit against the Georgia farms states that some employees were paid less than minimum wage, which is illegal for companies employing hourly workers. The wage and hour dispute results from employees discovering that they were paid less than other foreign employees. The plaintiffs filed a suit for lost wages covering a time period of three years.
In a wage and hour complaint, it may be hard to prove that the employer did an injustice to their employees. In the suit filed by the employees, it is stated that the employer not only paid less than minimum wage, but they illegally cut wages already earned. The fact that this case is already in the litigation stage presumably means that there is sufficient evidence against the onion farm to warrant a closer examination.
The plaintiff’s attorney claims that this is a common trend in rural farming areas. Supposedly farms wish to hire local workers, but when they are found, they may earn less than other migrant workers. This kind of hour and wage complaint might discourage Americans from seeking employment in the agriculture industry.
A few of the unfair practices that have been alleged in this wage and hour complaint include employees being required to purchase tools from their employer. Also, the method of payment to the plaintiffs was unbalanced in the favor of the employer. The suit was filed in hopes of reclaiming lost wages and stopping unfair employment practices in farming communities.
Source: ajc.com, “Vidalia onion workers sue Georgia farm,” Christopher Seward, April 18, 2013