Labor broker fights lawsuit over Iowa workers

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) — The co-owner of a Texas labor broker says she can’t explain why the company’s mentally disabled workers were billed hundreds of thousands of dollars for room and board while living in a dilapidated bunkhouse in Iowa.

Jane Ann Moreland of Goldthwaite, Texas, says she was only doing what she was told when she withdrew the money from the bank accounts of the men, who were working at an Iowa turkey plant.

The Des Moines Register says Moreland made the statement in a sworn deposition that is part of lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. The commission has accused Henry’s Turkey Service of exploiting the workers. The men were each paid $65 a month, after owners deducted their expenses.