- Associated Press - Thursday, April 9, 2015

KENNEWICK, Wash. (AP) - A federal judge has granted class-action status to a group of farm workers who claim that a farm company illegally denied employment to domestic workers in favor of imported guest workers.

U.S. District Court Judge Stanley Bastian made the ruling against Mercer Canyons on Wednesday.

The Yakima Herald-Republic reports that Bastian certified a class of at least 44 workers, and lawyers say that could grow to 600.

The lawsuit was brought on behalf of two workers who say they and others suffered because the Horse Heaven Hills farm failed to follow recruitment regulations when using the H-2A guest-worker program.

Farmers using the H-2A program can only hire foreign workers if they can’t find enough domestic workers. More farmers have turned to the program, citing a labor shortage.


Information from: Yakima Herald-Republic, https://www.yakimaherald.com



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