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Migrant Farm Workers Sue DuPont Pioneer Seed Company Over Underpaid Wages

HOLTVILLE, CA - OCTOBER 08:  A Mexican agricultural worker cultivates lettuce on a farm on October 8, 2013 in Holtville, California. Thousands of Mexican workers cross the border legally each night from Mexicali, Mexico into Calexico, CA, where they pick up work as agricultural day laborers in California's fertile Imperial Valley. Although the Imperial Valley, irrigated from water diverted from the Colorado River, is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States, it has one of the highest unemployment rates in California, at more than 25 percent. Mexican farm workers commute each day from Mexicali to work in the fields for about $9 an hour, which many local U.S. residents shun as too low pay.  (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

HOLTVILLE, CA - OCTOBER 08: A Mexican agricultural worker cultivates lettuce on a farm on October 8, 2013 in Holtville, California. Thousands of Mexican workers cross the border legally each night from Mexicali, Mexico into Calexico, CA, where they pick up work as agricultural day laborers in California's fertile Imperial Valley. Although the Imperial Valley, irrigated from water diverted from the Colorado River, is one of the most productive agricultural areas in the United States, it has one of the highest unemployment rates in California, at more than 25 percent. Mexican farm workers commute each day from Mexicali to work in the fields for about $9 an hour, which many local U.S. residents shun as too low pay. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)  (2013 Getty Images)

A major seed company is being sued by more than 30 migrant farm workers who say they were underpaid while removing tassels from corn in southwestern Michigan.

The workers are mostly from Texas and were hired in 2012 to work in Cass County. Detasseling is hot, labor-intensive work that occurs while the corn still is in the ground.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Grand Rapids, accuses Johnston, Iowa-based DuPont Pioneer and two recruiters of violating federal wage and migrant labor laws. The allegations include poor housing, unsafe transportation to the fields and inadequate water.

DuPont Pioneer was formerly called Pioneer Hi-Bred and is part of Wilmington, Delaware-based DuPont Co.

The seed company denies the allegations. A court filing last week says all parties "remain open" to a settlement.

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