L&I also found no evidence workers were exposed to pesticides and was later found to have levied a larger than normal fine against the farm for missed breaks due to “publicity” surrounding the worker’s death.
Read the story on KGMI: https://kgmi.com/news/007700-state-investigation-fails-to-verify-worker-complaints-against-sarbanand-farms/
Sumas berry farm faced three intensive Labor & Industry investigations. What did the investigators find?
One more investigation by the Washington State Department of Labor & Industries of the Sumas berry farm shows the accusations against them are false. Here's the story in the March 26 issue of Capital Press.
This time it was a complaint filed by a worker one month after the incident supposedly happened. He said he smelled chemicals and got a headache. This triggered a third L&I investigation and found no evidence of pesticide exposure.
After three intensive investigations caused by the numerous accusations against the farm by anti-guest worker activists the only thing the state investigations found was the farm had missed one rest break and served one meal late. Huh? How many rest breaks have you missed at work? If your employer was required to serve you your meals, how much would they be fined if one was served late? $150,000? That's how much the Sumas farm faces in fines because of the two "violations."
The political pressure put on the Department by these activists is without question the cause of this excessive penalty. The Department risks losing credibility even as the numerous and continuously repeated false accusations of the activists leaves them with no credibility except with their dedicated few who refuse to face the facts.