Calling on the Government to Protect Marginalized Shepherds: Hispanic Affairs Project v. Perez

Towards Justice fights for justice for marginalized workers. We represent current and former shepherds, who until recently made only $2 or $3 an hour, alleging that the Federal Government has failed in its duty to protect workers and prevent wage stagnation in the sheep ranching industry. Our clients allege that the United States Departments of Labor and Homeland Security – charged by Congress with preventing the influx of cheap foreign labor and the creation of a permanent, underpaid foreign workforce – have failed in these duties in violation of federal law. All plaintiffs seek correction of the regulatory mess these agencies have created, and one current shepherd seeks back wages from his employer, the Western Range Association. Towards Justice represents the plaintiffs with co-counsel Zuckerman Spaeder LLP.

Case Documents

DC Circuit Opinion

Settlement Agreement

Joint Status Report

Proposed Order

Comments Regarding USCIS Memo

Press Releases

11/21/2019 Major Settlement Reached to Protect American and Foreign Sheepherders

9/13/2016 Shepherds Proceed with Claims that the U.S. Government Illegally Created a Permanent Workforce of Foreign Shepherds and Arbitrarily Denies Foreign Shepherds Wages for All Hours They Work

11/6/2015 The Federal Government Has Failed in its Duty to Protect Workers and Prevent Wage Stagnation, Shepherds Allege


3/13/2017 Ranchers, DOL Fight Shepherds’ Wage Floor Challenge

11/5/2015 Exploited sheepherders win pay raise in court—but their struggle isn’t over yet

10/15/2015 Shepherds Argue DOL Visa Rules Keep Wages Too Low

10/13/2015 Sheepherders Are Set to Get a Raise

10/1/2015 Montrose group files lawsuit over sheepherder wages

9/17/2015 DOL Slams Injunction Bid In H-2A Sheepherder Suit

8/25/2015 Immigrant labor harming U.S. shepherds, lawsuit says

8/20/2015 Shepherds Sue Uncle Sam for Living Wage

In The Courtroom

Our litigators help workers advance legal claims that address systemic injustice. We use antitrust, anti-slavery, fraud, wage-and-hour, and common-law challenges to address the wide variety of practices that nickel-and-dime low-wage workers out of their hard-earned wages. We have represented a hundred thousand childcare workers alleging wage suppression, tens of thousands of immigrant detainees alleging forced labor, and hundreds of construction workers, shepherds, manicurists, janitors, and kitchen hood cleaners. We are leaders in challenging anti-competitive practices that reduce worker bargaining power and support marginalized people who challenge structural impediments to their advancement.

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