• June 15, 2024

Workers settle wage dispute

Mexicans in US photo
Photo by Ms. Phoenix

A Federal judge in Kentucky on Monday signed an order canceling a trial scheduled for March in a lawsuit filed by a group of tobacco-farm workers after they and their employers came to an agreement, according to a story by Lexis Legal News relayed by the TMA.

The Mexican workers had claimed that the owners of tobacco farms where they worked had underpaid them, in violation of Federal labor laws.

But the parties to the lawsuit were said to have entered into an $81,308.71 settlement.

The plaintiffs comprised 39 Mexican guest workers who were sponsored under the Federal H-2A visa program, while the defendants included five Kentucky tobacco farms located in Scott, Monroe, and Nicholas counties.

Under the law, the monthly compensation levels for H-2A visa holders, generally reserved for agricultural work, should be closer to those of green-card holders, since their employers are required to provide amenities such as housing and transportation.

Although H-2A visa holders are considered non-immigrants and cannot be put on a pathway to citizenship, they can legally work in the country.