Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights
ABLE's Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights Practice Group provides free civil legal aid to agricultural workers in Ohio by responding to critical legal needs of the thousands of agricultural workers who come to Ohio each year to plant and harvest vegetable and fruit crops.
They also work in nurseries, food processing plants, dairy and poultry farms, and pork and beef slaughterhouses. The attorneys, paralegals, and other staff who work in the ABLE Agricultural Worker and Immigrant Rights Practice Group are committed to serving agricultural and immigrant workers throughout Ohio.
We offer a number of free legal services, information, and referrals to eligible workers and their families, including:
- Employment problems and disputes;
- Unpaid wages and minimum wage claims;
- Civil rights;
- Housing conditions;
- Day care and education;
- Worker health and safety concerns;
- Ohio Works First (OWF);
- Food stamps;
- Other government benefits;
Legal Aid negotiates compensation for Mark* and other unpaid temporary workers.
When Mark and others went to pick up their paycheck from a temporary staffing agency in Dayton, they were shocked to find the agency shuttered. The company closed because of money issues, but employees were not notified. Mark wondered where to go and what to do to recover the money he had earned.
Mark was not alone; 11 co-workers at an area factory were also not notified. With no money to pay for rent, food, daycare, or transportation, Mark and the others went to the East End Community Center for help. At the Community Center, Mark and his co-workers met with an attorney from LAWO to apply for legal assistance. At the same time, an attorney from ABLE assisted by researching and tracking the temporary staffing agency that had mysteriously vanished.
After locating and speaking with the temporary agency's owner and attorney, ABLE negotiated compensation for Mark and the other workers for a two-week period. Together, the workers were paid for the hours they had worked. Through the help and collaboration of the Community Center, LAWO and ABLE, Mark and his co-workers received the compensation they deserved.
(*not his real name)
This Harvest Calendar is published by Advocates for Basic Legal Equality, Inc. (ABLE) and Legal Aid of Western Ohio, Inc. (LAWO), as an educational service for agricultural workers in Ohio. ABLE and LAWO are nonprofit law firms that provide free legal services to low-income persons in west and northwest Ohio and agricultural workers throughout the state.