Agriculture · Business

Cutting out lawyers, Setton Farms offers to settle with employees directly to end wage lawsuit

Terra Bella-based Setton Farms announced Thursday it would settle a class-action wage lawsuit directly with its current and former hourly workers.

The suit alleges that Setton – America’s second-largest pistachio grower-processor – failed to pay hourly workers for up to three minutes each workday while employees walked from the front gate of their plant to the timeclock.

The company, in its statement, denies the allegations and said it paid its employees fairly.

Citing the high fees taken by class-action attorneys and wishing to maximize the payment to the employees, Setton Farms opted to provide direct, cash settlements to employees.

“[We] want to maximize funds to our employees by settling directly with them,” the company announced in a release.

Employees covered under the offer must have worked between April 27, 2012 and March 1, 2019.

The company estimates that the settlement amounts to roughly 50 cents per workday. For some employees, the amount could translate to as much as $1,000.

Workers have the option of accepting the settlement offer or rather than participate in the class-action suit, which will take considerable time and may yield a lower payment amount.

Current and former Setton Farms workers covered by the settlement offer can sign the agreement by visiting the company’s human resources department at its Terra Bella office.

Alex Tavlian is the Executive Editor of The San Joaquin Valley Sun and Executive Director of Valley Future Foundation. You can reach Alex at