Pronto viene una nueva temporada de trabajos agrícolas en Georgia. Mientras se acerca la primavera, muchos de ustedes y sus familiares y amigos buscarán trabajos y viajarán hacia EE.UU. Hay un sitio web que le puede ayudar en tomar decisiones informadas mientras considera trabajo como contratado en EE.UU. Contratados.org es un sitio manejado por CDM (el Centro de los Derechos del Migrante). Este sitio web le permite buscar información sobre un empleador o reclutador y lee sus reseñas escritas por otros contratados como usted. También, puede escribir de forma anónima unas reseñas basadas en sus experiencias y lee información sobre sus derechos. Si se encuentre trabajando en Georgia ahora o en los meses que vienen y hay un problema con su trabajo, puede marcar a nuestros abogados de Servicios Legales de Georgia al 1-800-537-7496 desde EE.UU o al 001-800-537-7496 desde México. También nos puede mandar un mensaje por WhatsApp al 912-245-2806. ¡Buena suerte!
“Interning with the Farmworker Division opened my eyes to the injustices many United States farm workers face. The greatest lesson I learned was that public interest law is not only about arguing law and winning cases. It is also about standing up with real people to help them exercise their rights.”
The Farmworker Rights Division of Georgia Legal Services Program seeks law students to join our advocacy on behalf of farmworkers. Farmworkers frequently experience significant wage violations, discrimination, wrongful termination, and other violation of their employment rights. We litigate cases aggressively, impacting practices that affect both foreign and domestic farmworkers in Georgia. See, e.g., Tomason v. Stanley, 297 F.R.D. 541 (S.D. Ga. 2014); Hernandez v. Hendrix Produce, Inc., 297 F.R.D. 538 (S.D. Ga. 2014); Ojeda-Sanchez v. Bland Farms, 600 F.Supp.2d 1373 (S.D. Ga. Mar. 4, 2009).
For more information about our program visit: https://georgiafarmworkerrights.wordpress.com
Student Intern Responsibilities:
Summer is our busiest time, as the height of the Georgia harvest season occurs from May through July. Our Summer Interns will develop their client communication and fact-finding skills by visiting farmworker communities around the state, providing workers with information about their rights, and collecting information about the working and housing conditions around the state. In addition, interns will have the opportunity to investigate the facts of developing cases, draft affidavits, letters and other legal documents, and participate in the discovery process. Previous interns have attended trials and depositions, and worked on cases involving racial and national origin discrimination, serious violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Agricultural Worker Protection Act, among other issues affecting farmworkers.
Ability to work and communicate well with a diverse group of people
Valid driver’s license and willingness to travel
Strong writing skills
Commitment to social justice
Internship period is mid-May to the end of July
To Apply: Send cover letter, resume and writing sample to firstname.lastname@example.org
Compensation: Weekly stipend of $450 (for 1L’s & 2L’s) or $500 (for 3L’s)
Read about Ashley Smith’s experience as an intern in summer 2010 on the NYU Law Blog.
See the updated case docket
The Farmworker Rights Division’s Regional Operations Manager and Paralegal, Hilary G. Smith, was featured in the October issue of the Georgia Bar Journal. Smith contributed to the “Legal Tech Tips” portion of the issue compiled by State Bar Pro Bono Coordinator, Mike Monahan. Commenting on her division’s use of Google Voice as a tool, Smith explained, “Google Voice is a dynamic tool that helps us better serve our clients. Clients text photos of original documents to be reviewed or added to their file, of the conditions of the barracks or hotels where they are housed, and farmworkers who work long hours can privately type us messages in the evenings without needing access to email. We are also able to send and receive messages with clients whose phones have run out of minutes but who still have texting capabilities. This helps our low-income clients whose tech and phone services are often sporadic maintain consistent contact and get all their materials and messages to their legal advocates.” To check out all the tech tips included in the column, see the full article on page 63 of the Journal.
“It’s always been a problem that farmworkers are not paid certainly a just wage and are not even paid the minimum wage,” says Daniela Dwyer, a lawyer at Texas Rio Grande Legal Aid, which handled the Bauer lawsuit. “But it’s a problem that’s becoming ever more severe because the federal minimum wage has been stagnant for a very long time.”
The Farmworker Rights Division of Georgia Legal Services filed a federal lawsuit on May 1, 2015, Cruz-Vasquez, et al. v. Sanders Farms, Inc., et al., United States District Court for the Southern District of Georgia, Civ. Act. No. 6:15-cv-48. We represented 9 H-2A workers who alleged violations of federal minimum wage law and breach of contract against Sanders Farms, Inc., Sanders Brothers, LLC and labor contractor Bartolo L. Hernandez. Another 6 H-2A workers joined the suit as Opt-In Plaintiffs. Before any responsive pleadings were filed, the parties reached a settlement in the amount of $39,500.
The Sanders Defendants compensated Plaintiffs $30,000 in damages and paid $1,500 as attorneys’ fees. Plaintiffs received a total award of $7,500 from Defendant Hernandez who also paid an additional $500 in court costs. Also, the Sanders Defendants promised to offer Plaintiffs and Opt-In Plaintiffs employment through the fall of 2018 should their operations require hand-harvest labor, and Defendant Hernandez promised that neither he nor certain close relatives would recruit, hire, or supervise any H-2A workers through the fall of 2020. The parties petitioned the Court for approval of the settlement agreement, as required under the Fair Labor Standards Act and related caselaw. The Court approved the settlement on July 21, 2016.
The Farmworker Rights Division of Georgia Legal Services filed a federal lawsuit on December 23, 2014, Ajiatas-Solval v. Cisco Produce, Inc., U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Georgia, Civ. Act. No. 1:14-cv-197. We represented 5 former H-2A workers who alleged violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, and the Civil Rights Act of 1964, against David Francisco-Baltazar, a former labor contractor and his corporate entity, Cisco Produce, Inc. The suit alleged a number of threats, recruitment, and wage violations meant to scare the workers into acceptance of substandard wages and working conditions. After being served, the Defendant filed for bankruptcy, triggering an automatic stay of the suit, but the Court subsequently lifted the stay.
In the Fall of 2015, claims of contract violations against a blueberry grower and two corporate entities that allegedly participated in procuring the workers were amended into the complaint. Jamestown Blueberries, Inc., Van-Adams Blueberry Corp., and Jerry Vanerwegen of Homerville, GA settled the workers’ claims for $10,000. The Court granted a joint petition for dismissal of the remaining claims and counterclaims on July 19, 2016.
PRESS RELEASE FROM THE EEOC
Georgia Farm Favored Foreign Workers Over American and African-American Workers, Federal Agency Charged
ATLANTA – J&R Baker Farms, located in Norman Park, Ga., will pay $205,000 to settle a national origin and race discrimination lawsuit filed by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the agency announced today.
EEOC filed suit on Aug.28, 2014, alleging that Baker Farms violated Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 when it subjected American and African-American workers to disparate terms and conditions of employment based on their national origin and/or race, including segregated buses, segregated work crews, and differences in production standards, work assignments, and other conditions of work. The complaint further alleged since at least the fall of 2010, Baker Farms engaged in a pattern or practice of unlawfully terminating qualified American and/or African-American workers and replacing them with foreign-born workers.
Under the terms of the consent decree settling the case, Baker Farms will pay $205,000 to resolve the litigation which sought relief for 119 workers. In addition to awarding monetary relief, the consent decree requires Baker Farms to revise its hiring practices, offer equal opportunity training for employees, adopt and implement an anti-discrimination policy, and comply with reporting, monitoring, and notice posting provisions. The settlement also resolves claims brought by some of the individual workers who had intervened under 42 U.S.C. §1981 and under the Agricultural Workers Protection Act.
“Employers have an obligation to provide a fair workplace, without discriminating against workers because of a worker’s national origin or race,” said Bernice Williams-Kimbrough, director of EEOC’s Atlanta District Office.
“Discrimination claims can arise from simple denial of employment,” said Lynette Barnes, acting regional attorney for the Atlanta District Office. “They can also arise from a pattern or practice of rules, requirements, and policies that disadvantage certain workers because of their race or national origin.”
Eliminating barriers in recruitment and hiring, especially class-based recruitment and hiring practices that discriminate against racial, ethnic and religious groups, older workers, women, and people with disabilities, is one of six national priorities identified by EEOC’s Strategic Enforcement Plan.
EEOC is responsible for enforcing federal laws against employment discrimination. Further information is available at www.eeoc.gov.
GLSP Note: The Farmworker Rights Division of Georgia Legal Services represented 19 U.S. workers who were the charging parties in this suit by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, as well as 7 similarly-situated class members. GLSP intervened on our clients’ behalf and added claims for violation of the Agricultural Worker Protection Act.
En México celebraron a los padres y a todos los que nos proveen el 19 de junio con “El Día del Padre.” En Guatemala, celebraron a los padres dos días antes durante el mismo fin de la semana, en el día 17. Servicios Legales Para Los Trabajadores Agrícolas también celebra a los padres mexicanos y guatemaltecos, en particular a los padres que trabajan en la agricultura, los que con fortaleza de ánimo, coraje y amor apoyan a sus familias en su país natal y en EE.UU.
We also wish a Happy Father’s Day to the U.S. men working in the fields and packing sheds on farms throughout the country. The U.S. celebrated Father’s Day on Sunday, June 19.
¡Infórmese sobre cómo se puede proteger mientras trabaja bajo visa H-2A o H-2B en EE.UU.!