A class action complaint was filed late last week in the Northern District of California against Gema Berry Farms and associated individuals on behalf of migrant field workers employed by the defendants. According to the complaint, the berry-harvesting workers were denied full compensation for rest periods, and were punished by deducting the first box of berries’ worth of compensation as a punishment for being late.
The complaint is brought under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (AWPA). Other allegations include failure to pay minimum wage and overtime, failure to reimburse necessary expenses, failure to provide wage statements, and failure to compensate fully on separation of employment.
The putative class covers those who worked for the defendants in California as non-exempt employees within the last four years. The complaint estimates that the defendants employed more than one hundred workers at a given time.
The plaintiffs are represented by Mallison & Martinez.