Lawsuits allege abuse of foreign farm workers in Kentucky

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (AP) – Three federal lawsuits have been filed in Kentucky alleging abuses in a program that brings in foreign farm workers.

The suits brought by 39 Mexican workers who toiled on Kentucky farms claim they were paid much less than the H-2A program’s guaranteed wage rate. The suits allege the workers lived in squalid conditions. One suit says workers lived in rat-infested housing with toilets that leaked sewage.

Six farmers and an H-2A agent are named in the suits filed this week.

Plaintiffs are seeking back wages and other damages. They’re being represented by attorneys with Southern Migrant Legal Services.

The H-2A agent did not immediately return phone calls and an email seeking comment.