Farmworkers Win Suit Against Lamb Farmer

Frank Rubin. Amarillo Daily News. September 1, 1989. p.7A

A Lamb County farmer and crew leader have been slapped with two federal court orders in a farmworker lawsuit.

The orders handed down by federal judges in Lubbock last week awarded a total of about $43,000 to approximately 30 farmworkers joining in the class action suit, said Stephen C. McIntyre, staff attorney for the Texas Rural Legal Aid Inc. office in Plainview.

“We’re pleased with the verdict; we’ll take it,” McIntyre said.

The people sued were Jimmy Parmer, a farmer, and Rosa Pacheco, a crew leader, both living in Littlefield in southern Lamb County at the time. The farmworkers had hoed cotton during the summer of 1986.

The suit alleged violations of the minimum wage law, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and Texas field sanitation laws that require farmers and crew leaders to provide toilets, water and hand washing facilities. The suit asked for minimum wages, statutory damages and damages for violations of the sanitation laws, McIntyre said.

The Agricultural Worker Protection Act requires posting of farmworkers’ rights in fields and disclosure to workers of such information as their employer, their pay and how long they ‘ll be working.

Additional farm workers that become aware of the order and file a valid claim by Nov. 1 also will be awarded $1600, a TRLA letter said.

The case was handled in Lubbock because of its proximity to the work site.