WENATCHEE - The Capital Press reports that Stemilt Growers in Wenatchee will dole out $3 million as part of a settlement to its underpaid workers.
According to the publication, Stemilt continues to deny any wrongdoing, but has reached a federal court-approved settlement. A lawsuit was filed in 2018 after the state Supreme Court mandated piece-rate pay for farmworkers who are performing work-related tasks in addition to harvesting crops.
More than 10,000 workers are eligible for the claim, but an attorney representing the workers suspects roughly 3,330 workers will apply for compensation.
A judge rejected an initial settlement offered by Stemilt that was reportedly made to a smaller group of workers, and was a far smaller payment.
The Capital Press reports Stemilt originally agreed to settle with 1,202 workers and collectively pay them a sum of $80,000.