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Report Finds Massive Wage Theft on Farms as Farmworkers Provide Essential Services During Pandemic

HeadlineDec 16, 2020

A new report from the Economic Policy Institute finds farm employers in the U.S. have engaged in massive wage theft and repeatedly violated federal labor laws around safety and wages. The report, based on data from the Labor Department, shows employers withholding at least $76 million in wages from over 150,000 workers over the past 20 years, though researchers say the problem is likely much bigger since the government only investigates a small number of farm employers at one time. Many violations are also not reported due to workers’ immigration status.
Recent research has found farmworkers have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus pandemic, yet many are forced to continue working in unsafe conditions.

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