Wilner & O'Reilly, APLC
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California-based contractor said to have exploited Thai workers

A California-based labor contractor called Global Horizons has been found to be liable in federal court for discrimination against hundreds of Thai workers.  Workers were said to be subjected to physical abuse.  Workers were reportedly threatened by the point of a gun.  Global Horizons was ruled to have controlled the working conditions, where these individuals lived, what they could eat and where they could travel.

From the perspective of immigration attorneys, it was noteworthy that the workers were threatened with deportation. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in 2011 filed a lawsuit on the behalf of the workers.  It was asserted in the complaint that workers were subjected at six separate farms to inadequate wages, uninhabitable housing and insufficient food.  One of the farms also named in the lawsuit back in November separately settled this matter for $1.2 million.  A trial date of Nov. 18 has been set to determine how much Global Horizons will have to pay.

Immigration wage and labor laws have been put into place because workers from other countries can be subjected to such working conditions.  While we would wish that this sort of discrimination would have disappeared a long time ago, it appears that greed often motivates such exploitation.  We cannot tolerate anyone being placed in these sorts of circumstances.

Immigration attorneys can serve dual purposes when it comes to such matters.  Attorneys can help protect workers that are threatened with deportation who otherwise would be forced to work for low wages under substandard conditions.  Also, immigration attorneys can make certain employers that obey the laws are allowed to hire on qualified immigrants at their workplace.

Source: Huffington Post, "Global Horizons Found Liable For Thai Worker Abuse," Jennifer Sinco Kelleher, March 24, 2014

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