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Sunday, April 5, 2020  Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883
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Labor officials give back pay to Washington blueberry workers

Associated Press

KENNEWICK – Some farmworkers are getting back wages and damages, following the settlement of a labor dispute with some Washington blueberry growers.

The Tri-City Herald reported that officials from the U.S. Department of Labor were in Kennewick on Monday to hand out checks to some of the more than 1,000 workers covered by the settlement.

Earlier this year, some blueberry growers in Walla Walla County admitted in federal court that they violated the rights of their agricultural workers over a period of three years. That includes failing to pay the minimum wage and overtime in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 growing seasons.

The U.S. Department of Labor filed suit, and the consent judgment that ended the case in January requires Walla Walla County growers to pay a total of $385,318 in unpaid wages and damages to pickers and packing shed workers.

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