Wednesday, January 18th, 2017

$11.8 Million Judgment for H-2B Forestry Workers

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"A federal court has ordered a Georgia forestry company to pay $11.8 million to 4,000 foreign guestworkers who were cheated out of wages while employed by the company – the largest court award to date on behalf of guestworkers.

The Southern Poverty Law Center sued Eller and Sons Trees Inc., based in Franklin, Ga., in 2005 on behalf of seasonal migrant workers who were lured from Mexico and Guatemala to plant pine seedlings in the Southeast as part of the federal H-2B program.

“The court sent a strong and clear message in this case that businesses employing guestworkers will be held accountable if they abuse or mistreat them,” said Jim Knoepp, senior supervising attorney for the SPLC.  “Employers are now on notice