AP NEWS

Firm fined $35K for housing farmworkers in filthy conditions

February 16, 2019

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — A company in Silverton and its housing provider must pay $35,000 in penalties after an inspection found migrant farmworkers housed in filthy, rodent-infested quarters.

The Oregonian/OregonLive reports the U.S. Department of Labor said Friday that its inspectors found families in “dilapidated, trash strewn housing” at the facility.

The Labor department says the unannounced inspection found workers sleeping on mattresses on the floor. Residents reported rodents throughout the facility, according to the department, which did not say when its inspection took place.

Under the Migrant and Seasonal Worker Protection Act, the department fined farm labor contractor Vasquez Family Labor Services $30,000 and issued another $5,000 in penalties against the firm’s housing provider, Jorge Vasquez.

Vasquez Family Labor Services said in a statement that the people were not their employees and they had no idea they were there but settled rather than drag out the process with the state.

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Information from: The Oregonian/OregonLive, http://www.oregonlive.com