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MLA Wins Class Action Certification Motion for Blueberry Pickers

March 13, 2018, In the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Michigan, Judge Robert J. Jonker issued his Order granting Class Certification for a group of up to 330 blueberry pickers. The Opinion states, "The claims for violations of the AWPA will rise or fall on whether Defendants had a uniform policy of failing to compensate the workers for wait time, keeping inaccurate records, and providing false and misleading information to its workers."  

Federal Judge Appoints MLA Legal Team as Class Counsel in Federal Class Action Suit
Marni Willenson
Teresa Hendricks

Ben O'Hearn

In a March 2018 Opinion, issued by Federal Judge Robert J. Jonker, the court deemed Marni Willenson, Teresa Hendricks, and Ben O'Hearn as qualified attorneys suitable to serve as counsel, stating, "The Court is familiar with class counsel's qualifications, which include extensive experience in litigating labor and employment actions. The Court is satisfied that class counsel are fully capable of conducting this litigation."

House Bill Would Make Undocumented Workers Eligible for MI Driver's License 
Berrien County Sheriff Paul Bailey, Attorney Teresa Hendricks, and Farmer Fred Leitz present three sides to the Driver's License for the undocumented discussion to Berrien and Cass County League of Women Voters. State Rep. Dave Pagel, the bill's sponsor, said the bill is not likely to get a hearing from the Transportation and  Infrastructure Committee.
LWV League of Women Voters  Hosted March Forum                     Read more

Six Growers Agree to $2.6 Million Settlement Over Unpaid breaks for field workers       

YAKIMA, Wash. - Six Washington area growers have agreed to pay a total of $2.6 million to more than 3,000 field workers who were not paid during breaks as required by state law. The settlement was finalized Friday in Yakima County Superior Court. Attorney Craig Ackermann, who represented the workers, commended the growers for their willingness do the right thing by entering a full settlement."They pretty much paid 100 percent on the dollar to what they owed everybody," he said. Yakima attorney Brendan Monahan said growers agreed to the settlement rather than spend the time and money to challenge a federal court ruling that opened the door for the lawsuit by the workers in the first place.
Farmworkers, Students Calling on Wendy's to Join Fair Food Program 

Farmworkers, Florida Gulf Coast University students, local residents and many more are coming together to protest Wendy's and Publix for importing its tomatoes from Mexico farms.The protest, organized by the FGCU chapter of the Student/Farmworker Alliance, is calling on Wendy's to join the Fair Food Program.

According to the press release, the Fair Food Program is a worker-driven workplace monitoring initiative that has worked to end sexual harassment and assault to tens of thousands of workers along the East Coast.

"I, myself, before the Fair Food Program, experienced sexual harassment on the part of supervisors," said farmworker Silvia Perez. "Supervisors who would come and want to go out with the women, and this is the reality we faced."
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