CBS News reports:

ST. PAUL, Minn. — The Minnesota Attorney General’s office says a rural Minnesota dairy operation exploited workers by allegedly withholding their pay and providing substandard and unsanitary on-site housing.

Attorney General Keith Ellison announced the lawsuit Monday against Paynesville-based Evergreen Acres Dairy. He says EAD employs hundreds of people at its locations in Redwood and Stearns counties, with many of them “unauthorized workers from Mexico who speak limited or no English.”

He says the farms’ owners systematically deprived its employees of “wages they earned by shaving both regular and overtime hours from workers’ paychecks, not paying wages owed at the beginning and end of workers’ employment, and by unlawfully deducting rent for the on-site housing.”
RELATED: Wage theft often goes unpunished despite state systems meant to combat it

The suit also claims EAD’s owners have destroyed timecards and falsified pay stubs to hide the company’s illegal practices, while its employees work “12-hour shifts at least six days per week.”

“Evergreen has exploited the vulnerabilities of these workers by denying their wages and systematically underreporting the number of hours workers work on their paystubs, often shaving off 12-32 hours from each two-week pay period,” Ellison said.

Ellison also alleges the living conditions company employees endured “violate the most basic health and safety standards,” with units containing insects, mildew, and no heat.

“(The residences) are frankly not within the bounds of human decency,” Ellison said.

To read the entire report click here.