Yakima Valley farm workers to receive $1M in settlement funds fo - NBC Right Now/KNDO/KNDU Tri-Cities, Yakima, WA |

Yakima Valley farm workers to receive $1M in settlement funds for state law violations

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YAKIMA VALLEY, WA - On Sunday, July 24, farm worker advocates from Columbia Legal Services will distribute funds to farm workers in the Yakima Valley who won a hard-fought settlement in the  Saucedo v. NW Management case. After years of litigation, an agreement was reached in May whereby the companies agreed to pay all the damages awarded to the farm workers - just over $1 million which Judge Thomas O. Rice quickly approved so the funds could be promptly distributed. Each worker will receive approximately $1,000 - $3,000 depending on how many seasons she or he worked.

The class action was filed in 2012, after a group of ten farm workers alleged they were fired by their employer, NW Management, in retaliation for calling 911 because their foreman was routinely displaying and shooting his gun in the orchards to intimidate the workers and cheat them of their wages. In 2013, Judge Rice awarded the class of 722 farmworkers $1,004,000 in damages against NW Management and the orchard owners, for violations of state law protecting farm workers. In March 2016, the Washington Supreme Court ruled unanimously in favor of the farm workers by upholding Judge Rice's decision.

The distribution of the funds will take place at Radio KDNA, 121 Sunnyside Avenue, Granger, WA 98932 at 1:00 p.m. The local farm workers, attorneys from Columbia Legal Services, farm worker representatives, and Yakima Mayor Avina Gutierrez will be present.

Staff from Columbia Legal Services who represented the farm workers will be on hand to help distribute checks to the brave farm workers who stood together to achieve justice not only for themselves, but for future workers.