Two Mexican citizens who worked for Crawfish Processing LLC last year filed suit in Alexandria federal court Thursday, claiming the company and its owner, Charles Bernard, routinely failed to pay minimum and prevailing wages. Plaintiffs say they also did not receive federally mandated overtime pay while working more than 60 hours per week.
The company also collected $60 per week as rent payments for rat-infested trailers packed with eight or nine people, according to the lawsuit. Also allegedly deducted from weekly paychecks was a $3 fee for cashing checks at a retail market affiliated with Crawfish Processing.
Not surprising in a state like Louisiana, where the legislature continues to debate the "good and bad" of and, in fact, defend the legality of slavery, that this would be allowed to go on. Even if the plaintiffs win in this case, don't expect these practices to change in the future.