A class-action lawsuit, filed on behalf of workers at Perdue Farms Inc. against the company, alleges Perdue Farms Inc. knowingly hired illegal immigrants. Filed in the U.S. District court for the Middle District of Alabama Southern Division, the suit targets numerous plant managers and human resource personnel for carrying out what the suit calls an illegal immigrant hiring scheme. That would be in violation of federal immigration laws and the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act. Attorneys say the scheme also depressed the wages of legal workers below market levels.
The suit was filed on behalf of all hourly workers legally employed in the United States and employed by Perdue since March 2006 at 16 of the company's poultry processing plants. The attorneys say the plaintiffs believe there are likely thousands of Perdue Farms employees who qualify as putative class members. Perdue spokesman Luis Luna said Perdue does not condone illegal hiring practices and adheres to federal and state laws. Luna called the lawsuit a fishing expedition.