The INDY has learned that there is an open investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division into Senator Brent Jackson’s farm, the Jackson Farming Company in Autryville.
We reported in June on a lawsuit that seven former migrant workers had filed against the Jackson Farming Company alleging wage violations and retaliation. At the time, we submitted a FOIA request to the U.S. Department of Labor asking for any reports regarding investigations of the farm; last week, we received a response.
The Wage and Hour Division says that there is one investigative case file on the Jackson Farming Company, and that investigation is currently ongoing. As a result, the Department of Labor is currently withholding the 415-page case file on the farm under an exemption that “applies to records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes when production of such law enforcement records or information could reasonably be expected to interfere with ‘enforcement proceedings.’”
The letter goes on to say that, while the exemption will continue to apply “as long as the relevant proceedings remain pending or are prospective,” the exemption is “temporary in nature.”
It’s unclear what the investigation entails, but since it’s under the purview of the Wage and Hour Division, it is possible that it has to do with employee wages.
Jackson is a co-chairman of the Senate Appropriations Committee. He is running unopposed for re-election this year.
When we called Jackson’s Senate office for comment, a legislative aide told us that because it wasn’t a legislative matter, we’d have to reach out to the farm. A call to the farm was not answered.
We’ve emailed the Jacksons for comment and will continue to update this story as it develops. You can read the Wage and Hour Division’s letter below.