Hemp Grower reports…
Seventeen migrant employees who were hired for temporary work on a hemp farm have sued the employer for a variety of mistreatments, including partially unpaid wages, unsafe housing conditions and verbal abuse.
Their employer was Colt Jamison Hansen, who does business under various entities, according to the lawsuit, including WestCoast Growers LLC, Topshelf Hemp LLC, and Fire Hemp LLC. Hansen and his companies are all named as defendants in the lawsuit, which was filed in the U.S. District Court for the District of Oregon.
According to the lawsuit, Hansen used an unlicensed farm labor contractor to hire the employees to harvest, dry, clean and sort industrial hemp on his farm in Grants Pass, Oregon.
Hansen did not fill out or administer required I-9, W-4 or W-2 forms, according to the lawsuit, and the defendants did not deduct or withhold taxes from their wages.
The lawsuit alleges Hansen and “his supervisors” carried several types of firearms at all times and yelled “profanities and demeaning words and demanded that Plaintiffs work fast.”
The employees worked more than 12 hours a day, according to the lawsuit, often without rest or lunch breaks.
Hansen also provided the workers with housing. According to the lawsuit, 11 workers shared an empty trailer with one bed. Others were “assigned an abandoned, dilapidated, and unsafe house to stay in,” according to the lawsuit.
Most of the plaintiffs slept on the floor and did not have access to running water or sanitary cooking facilities. The defendant also did not clean the port-a-potties the plaintiffs were forced to use or trash generated by the plaintiffs during their time there, according to the lawsuit.