On July 18, 2005, a group of migrant forestry workers admitted to the U.S. under the H-2B foreign worker program filed suit against their employer Alpha Services, L.L.C., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, alleging violations of Fair Labor Standards Act and the ...
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On July 18, 2005, a group of migrant forestry workers admitted to the U.S. under the H-2B foreign worker program filed suit against their employer Alpha Services, L.L.C., in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi, alleging violations of Fair Labor Standards Act and the the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act ("AWPA"). The plaintiffs alleged that Superior and its officers failed to pay the plaintiffs the statutory minimum wage and overtime wages and failed to maintain complete information on the terms and conditions of the plaintiffs' work as migrant workers as required by law. Attorneys with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Immigrant Justice Project, and private firms represented the plaintiffs.
On December 27, 2005, the District Court (Judge William H. Barbour Jr.) conditionally certified the plaintiffs' FLSA claim as a collective action. Salinas-Rodriguez v. Alpha Services, L.L.C., 2005 WL 3557178, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 39673 (S.D.Miss. 2005). Shortly thereafter, the parties engaged in settlement negotiations, which resulted in a resolution of the case.
As part of the settlement, Alpha agreed to pay the plaintiffs and class members large sums of money, which were to remain undisclosed under the terms of the settlement. In addition, Alpha agreed to the following:
1. entry of a Consent Decree ensuring compliance with the federal migrant worker laws;
2. periodic audits by workers and supervisors to monitor Alpha's compliance, along with granting plaintiffs' attorneys access to audits and other company records;
3. not require workers to surrender their passports or other identification documents to the company or its agents;
4. not require deeds, deposits or collateral of any kind as a condition of employment; and,
5. not retaliate against the plaintiffs in any way.
The Court approved the settlement and entered a Consent Order on September 6, 2006. The Court agreed to retain jurisdiction until December 31, 2007, in order to oversee enforcement of the settlement.
This case is closed as of May 19, 2008. Gregory Pitt - 07/18/2012