MLA Explains Potential Harm of SB 501 Driver's License Bill
MLA organized Growers and advocates to educate lawmakers on amendments needed to make SB 501 bill non-discriminatory. MLA was asked by lawmakers to explain the unconstitutional nature of the bill. MLA provided input to show that the bill would violate the Supremacy Clause of the US Constitution and create a path for racial profiling during immigration checks by police involved in traffic stops. The analysis provided by MLA and the Agribusiness opposition appears to have helped slow the bill down to give lawmakers time to consider amendments like the one offered by
Rep. Stephanie Chang
. It also appears that the businesses who originally supported the bill may have shifted their support, pending approval of a more favorable amendment. MLA continues to monitor this and offer lawmakers an analysis of any proposed amendments.
MLA Recovers $$Thousands in Wage Theft from Gratiot County Grower
Pumpkin pickers complained to MLA they had not received all the wages they had earned. MLA intervened and represented the farmworkers in asserting their rights under Michigan's minimum wage law (WOWA). As a result, the farm sent checks for the amounts owed in unpaid wages.
Michigan Dept. Civil Rights' DirectorDr. Agustin Arbulu Protects Minimum Wage of Migrant Harvesters
Lansing, MI. On May 2, 2016 the Interagency Migrant Services Committee (IMSC) was hosted by MDCR's Dr. Arbulu. He reported that he had spoken with LARA's Wage & Hour agency regarding its decision that afforded no minimum wage protection for certain piece-rate harvesters. Discussions were fruitful and Dr. Arbulu said he expects an Executive Order will issue to support these workers rights to minimum wage and prevent future enforcement denials.
MLA Investigating Cases that Involve:
o Farmworkers displaced by H-2A workers
o Housing discrimination against undocumented family members (not worker housing)
o Managers taking bribes before offering jobs
Please contact MLA if you have any questions or information on these scenarios.
Help Find Farmworkers Whose Checks are Waiting:
In 2012, the Department of Labor investigated Margarito Martinez, d.b.a. Triple S Harvesting. The DOL found that Triple S Harvesting failed to pay its workers all the wages owed when due under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act. As a result, the DOL collected the back wages that it calculated Triple S Harvesting owed its employees.
Workers named in the link above should call (678) 237-0484 (US DOL) and reference Case 1665343 Triple S Harvesting. Messages can be left in English or Spanish.