had no valid certificate as of August of 1987.
It is clear that the defendants failed to verify either Isaac's or Losolla's farm labor contractor registration status. It is also clear that the defendants utilized the services of Isaac and Losolla to hire and transport workers. Accordingly, defendants failed to comply with 29 U.S.C. § 1842 as to both crew leaders.
The AWPA permits migrant agricultural workers to recover damages for intentional violations of the Act. 29 U.S.C. § 1854(c). In interpreting this standard, the courts have concluded that the common civil standard is to be used, holding a person liable for the natural consequences of a person's acts. Rivera v. Adams Packing Association, Inc., 707 F.2d 1278, 1283 (11th Cir. 1983) (interpreting Farm Labor Contractor Registration Act); Campbell v. Miller, 836 F. Supp. 827, 830 (M.D. Fla. 1993). No specific intention to violate the law is required, and lack of knowledge of the Act is not a defense to a finding of intentionality. Bueno v. Mattner, 829 F.2d 1380, 1385-86 (6th Cir. 1986), cert. denied, 486 U.S. 1022, 100 L. Ed. 2d 226, 108 S. Ct. 1994 (1987). Therefore, the defendant need only deliberately and consciously engage in the action which lead to the violation of the Act. Campbell v. Miller, supra; Saintida v. Tyre, 783 F. Supp. 1368 (S.D.Fla. 1992).
Here, the proof at trial establishes that the defendants deliberately and consciously engaged in the conduct which resulted in the AWPA violations discussed above. The documentary evidence shows that the defendants had been previously cited by the U.S. Department of Labor for violations of AWPA in 1987. Specifically, on May 22, 1987, defendants were assessed civil monetary penalties for violations of the disclosure, record keeping, wage statement and other provisions of AWPA in 1986. In addition, on February 25, 1988, defendants were assessed civil monetary penalties for violations of AWPA in 1987 regarding disclosure, wage statements and registration. (Stipulated Facts, P 30).
In light of the prior violations resulting in the May 1987 assessment, defendants' violations in this case were clearly "intentional" under the Act. Indeed, Helen Sam admitted that the defendants departed from their normal bookkeeping procedures in virtually all of their practices regarding these plaintiffs. With regard to the housing and transportation violations, the preponderance of the evidence at trial shows that the defendants knew that workers were residing on their property without regard to applicable safety and health standards, and that Mompremier Isaac was transporting workers to defendants' fields without a license or without Labor Department authorization.
Accordingly, I find that defendants have intentionally violated the housing, transportation, record keeping, wage statement and registration provisions of the AWPA. I also find that, pursuant to 29 U.S.C. § 1854(c), the statutory remedy of $ 500.00 per violation is appropriate for each of the ten plaintiffs, resulting in a total award of statutory damages in the amount of $ 25,000.00, to be paid to plaintiffs' counsel.
Based on the foregoing, I find that plaintiffs have proved by a preponderance of the evidence that defendants have violated the housing, transportation, record keeping, wage statement and registration provisions set forth at 29 U.S.C. §§ 1823(a), 1841(b)(1), 1821(d)(1), 1821(d)(2), and 1842. I also find that these violations were intentional for the purposes of awarding statutory damages under 29 U.S.C. § 1854(c).
The Clerk of the Court is directed to enter judgment in favor of the plaintiffs in the amount of $ 25,000.00.
DATED: Buffalo, New York
June 28, 1994
CAROL E. HECKMAN
United States Magistrate Judge