Legal Aid of North Carolina recently settled a lawsuit filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina on behalf of a migrant farmworker who came to the U.S. with an H2A temporary agricultural visa to work for H2A Labor Contractor Eluvia Perez in 2018. In the lawsuit complaint, the worker alleged that Perez unlawfully retaliated against him for demanding he be timely reimbursed for inbound travel and visa-related expenses, a requirement under federal and state law. The worker further alleged that Perez failed to pay him the minimum wage rate required by the H2A program in 2018 for all of the hours he worked cultivating and harvesting in pickling cucumbers and sweet potatoes. He also alleged that Perez charged in excess of the maximum allowable amount for an employer-provided meal plan.
The defendant labor contractor denied that she underpaid the worker and any other alleged wrongdoing but ultimately agreed to settle the case for a total of $10,000. Defendant also agreed to pay Legal Aid’s cost of filing the lawsuit. The parties’ settlement was recently approved in federal court on September 11, 2020.
The Farmworker Unit of Legal Aid of North Carolina is fully operational despite the ongoing public health emergency and ready to assist farmworkers assert their rights. Workers can reach our office at 919-523-6665 to request a confidential consult. All of our services are free of charge.