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Participants in Oklahoma recovery program file lawsuit

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TULSA, Okla. (AP) - Participants in an Oklahoma-based substance recovery program allege they were required to work at a poultry processing plant without compensation under the threat of incarceration.

Three participants filed a federal class-action lawsuit Tuesday against the northeastern Oklahoma recovery program, Christian Alcoholics & Addicts in Recovery, and Arkansas-based Simmons Foods.

The lawsuit alleges participants were led to believe CAAIR was a recovery program offered through Oklahoma drug courts. It alleges CAAIR and Simmons "conspired to profit from a vulnerable workforce" and failed to compensate participants for their work. It says the only payment received were "daily bologna sandwiches and a bunk-bed in a cramped dorm room."

CAAIR CEO Janet Wilkerson had no immediate comment on the lawsuit. A spokesman for Simmons, Donny Epp, says the company will defense itself in court.

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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