KENNEWICK, Wash. - A blueberry farm and packing house is facing a lawsuit by the U.S. Department of Labor in a dispute over inspections by wage and hour investigators.
Blue Mountain Farms and Blue Mountain Farms Packing in Burbank initially agreed to allow investigators on their property in July. When investigators returned on a later date, the owners threatened to call the sheriff.
The Department of Labor filed a lawsuit in Eastern Washington U.S. District Court against the farm to gain access to its property before the blueberry picking season ends.
The Department of Labor indicated in court documents that it is cracking down on Northwest blueberry farmers. They say that many were not complying with child labor and minimum wage laws for migrant and seasonal workers over the past two years.