Farmworkers Law


Client Story

Joe (not his real name) worked on a ranch in Montana. Joe was brought here from his home in Latin America by a Montana rancher, on an H-2A visa. The H-2A program is a federal program that allows U.S. employers to bring in foreign workers to do jobs that don’t attract U.S. workers.  

Joe had worked for this same rancher for many years. Federal law required Joe to be paid over $10.00 per hour, but his employer was not paying him for every hour he worked.

MLSA helped Joe make a written complaint to the U.S. Department of Labor, to complain about his unpaid wages.


Our Work

Montana Legal Services Association’s  Farmworker Unit provides legal services for eligible agricultural workers. This means that we can provide information, advice, pro se assistance (helping clients help themselves), and full representation for eligible agricultural workers.

Examples of what we can help with:

MLSA can assist farmworkers with all kinds of civil legal problems, but not criminal problems.  Examples of civil legal problems include:

Employment Issues: Wage Claims; Employment Contracts;  and Conditions Issues (pesticide exposure, field sanitation)

Public Benefits: Food Stamps (SNAP); Welfare (TANF); Medicaid and Medicare; Child Day Care (if through state assistance program)

Housing problems: Evictions; Lock-outs; Unsafe Housing

Other Civil Legal Problems: Domestic Violence and other family law; Consumer matters; Education matters; Tax problems; and Unemployment

Who is eligible:

Montana Legal Services is federally funded, and must comply with certain regulations for financial eligibility and immigration status. Usually we cannot help undocumented immigrants. Because the rules are complicated, please contact us and we will make the eligibility determination.   We do not charge for our services, and we keep all client information confidential.