Day laborers, O.C. sheriff settle lawsuit
Day laborers reached a tentative settlement with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in an unusual harassment lawsuit in which workers took their case to federal court, an attorney said Tuesday.
The deal was reached Monday night just hours before the trial was supposed to start, said lawyer Hector Villagra, director of the Orange County office of the American Civil Liberties Union, which represents the laborers.
He declined to provide details of the agreement.
The suit was filed by more than 50 dayworkers who alleged that deputies had violated their right to free speech by telling them that they could not seek work on a street corner in Lake Forest. Workers also alleged that deputies pulled over employers and told workers to get out of their vehicles.
In court papers, deputies said they were responding to residents’ complaints that workers were littering and trespassing.