Legal Aid of NC’s Farmworker Unit recently procured a settlement on behalf of two (2) H-2A farmworkers and former employees of H-2A labor contractor Carlos Aguilera and Aguilera Harvesting, Corp.
The workers alleged that Aguilera and Aguilera Harvesting violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, the North Carolina Wage and Hour Act, and North Carolina contract law when they failed to pay the promised Adverse Effect Wage Rate for all the workers’ hours worked harvesting tobacco and sweet potatoes for Aguilera and Aguilera Harvesting in 2017.
Specifically, the workers allege they were each shorted about five to ten hours a week each week over a period of several months. The two workers estimate that Aguilera failed to compensate them for a combined total of over 240 hours of work over the course of the 2017 season.
The matter was resolved pursuant to a settlement agreement whereby Aguilera and Aguilera Harvesting continued to deny liability but agreed to pay $10,000.00, the total amount of anticipated damages, including actual and liquidated damages and attorney fees, plus injunctive relief.