the lawsuit filed in western louisiana claims sterling sugars sales corporation obtained work visas representing the six as farm workers.
Last updated on July 28th, 2022 at 10:52 am
United States – Six migrant workers from Mexico have filed a lawsuit against a sugar company in Louisiana, claiming they were illegally underpaid for trucking loads of sugarcane.
The lawsuit filed in western Louisiana claims Sterling Sugars Sales Corporation obtained work visas representing the six as farm workers. But the six were put to work as truck drivers which the lawsuit says requires a much higher rate of pay under federal law.
Going further the suit also claims that these migrant workers were never paid at overtime rates, even though they often worked 80 hours a week, which is against the law.
Instead it was noted that plaintiffs and similarly situated workers were employed driving heavy trucks in excess of 26,000 pounds to transport harvested sugarcane from various farms in Louisiana back to processing facilities in Franklin.
The workers‘ suit argues that the off-the-farm work carrying products to a mill for an employer who did not produce the sugarcane required a different type of visa. It was an H-2B visa. And these workers should have been paid at a rate just over $20 an hour under federal prevailing wage law but these numbers were seen big time missing from their accounts.
Although, it is believed that situation worsened especially during the time of pandemic. There was a lack of efficient protocols in workplaces as well as little infrastructure and trained personnel in rural communities to face the emergency. The virus spread aggressively in agricultural and sugarcane communities.
Public healthcare sector and firms provided the global platform to engage stakeholders from across the sugar value chain and share the resources. They offered valuable contributions from extensive experience in working with sugar mills and field programmed managers to provide key recommendations of how to prevent COVID-19.