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The owners of two Yakima-area orchards have settled a lawsuit that goes back several years, concerning compensation for workers.

Lawsuit concerned wages between 2018-2021

The Department of Labor and Industries as well as the Attorney General's Office said the owners,  Rene and Carmen Garcia, paid $500K in back wages and interest to employees who worked at G&G Orchards Inc. and RC Orchards LLC.

According to Labor and Industries:

"L&I’s investigation found that workers weren’t paid properly for the fruit they harvested between 2018-2021. Under the employment contract, the farm owners owed workers the higher of either the piece rate for fruit harvested or an hourly rate. Workers were also owed for time they spent on the job site waiting for machines to be repaired."

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A  lawsuit was filed by the AG's office in 2021, and nearly two years later, it has now been settled.

In addition to the settlement, the owners must also implement a series of new accounting and recordkeeping as well as accountability policies.

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