Tulare dairy employee-pay lawsuit settlement
A Tulare dairyman has agreed to pay $230,000 to settle a lawsuit alleging violations of labor, health, and safety laws. Joaquin Toledo Jr. paid the amount to settle the lawsuit brought on behalf of about 70 current and former employees who worked at the dairy since June 2001, said the California Rural Legal Assistance Inc. in Fresno, which represented the employees. Plaintiffs in the suit, filed in Tulare County Superior Court in June, claimed the dairy owed the employees overtime wages, compensation for rest and meal periods not received, penalties for inadequate wage statements, and reimbursement for protective equipment purchased by employees.
The settlement points out the importance of dairy operators being well informed on labor law, noted Western United Dairymen CEO Michael Marsh. “WUD offers free labor law education classes several times a year,” said Marsh. “Also, WUD field representatives are always available to answer any labor questions from members. We urge our members to take full advantage of these labor law resources.”