Steering Committee Member
Robert Willis is a 1975 graduate of Haverford College. He is and has been a member of the National Lawyer’s Guild since 1978. Before beginning law school, he did 1½ years of postgraduate work with Bommer Industries in Landrum, SC in the countersink division of its spring hinge department. He obtained a J.D. from UNC-Chapel Hill in 1979. He then spent the next 10 years employed as a staff attorney by Florida Rural Legal Services, Inc. in Wauchula and Bartow, Florida from 1979 to 1982, and by Farmworkers Legal Services of North Carolina, Inc. in Newton Grove and Raleigh, North Carolina until 1989. In that capacity, he was counsel in the first case filed in the country under the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and was lead counsel in a series of farmworker cases that helped to establish the idea that the farmers and packers of North Carolina were responsible for compliance with federally mandated wage and housing conditions.
Since his entry into private practice in 1989, he has continued to represent migrant farmworkers, and has expanded his work into the representation of thousands of underpaid and overworked immigrant and non-immigrant workers in the poultry processing, construction, restaurant, nursery, and other similar segments of the working population. That work has included the representation of the Farm Labor Organizing Committee (FLOC), AFL-CIO, since 1997 in connection with its organizing work in NC to improve the wages and working conditions of those workers who pick pickle cucumbers that are processed by the Mount Olive Pickle Co. In that capacity, since 2004, Mr. Willis has represented a large number of H-2A workers in workers’ compensation claims for injuries and deaths suffered in the course of their employment by various H-2A employers. Click here for a bit more information.
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