Alvarado Landscaping Back Wages for Temp Worker Violations

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) announced that Lorain, Ohio’s Alvarado Landscaping has violated a federal regulation to pay its H-2B temporary workers for their international transportation and subsistence expenses. The DOL said the landscaping company had to pay $ 36,000 in arrears and $ 40,000 in H-2B fines.

Federal law requires employers who hire H-2B temporary workers to pay their international transportation and subsistence expenses while traveling from their home country to the United States. The landscaping company left it to the workers to pay their own travel expenses.

Falling wages and H-2B penalties

The investigation, conducted by DOL’s Payroll Department, found that the landscaping company owed twelve temporary workers a total of $ 36,179 in arrears in wages for violating the H-2B visa program. The company has also received civil fines of $ 40,000.

“These workers, separated from their families for months, deserve to get every penny of their legally earned wages,” said George Victory, county director of the Columbus, Ohio wages department. “Enforcing the requirements of this program will protect these vulnerable workers, protect US workers in their industries, and create a level playing field for employers who obey the rules.”

The Payroll Department found that Alvarado Landscaping had committed the following violations:

  • The costs of inbound and outbound international transport and meals for the workers were not paid

  • H-2B workers paid overtime in cash at a rate less than the required wage

  • Improper deductions made from workers’ wages to defend their homes

  • Provide investigators with inaccurate time and salary records

Wages and the Law on Fair Labor Standards

The Federal Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets minimum wages, overtime pay, records, and various other standard labor requirements. The FLSA minimum wage is the state minimum wage currently at $ 7.25 an hour. Some states have their own minimum wage laws. In situations where the employee is subject to both federal and state minimum wage laws, the employee is entitled to the higher minimum wage.

The employees are also to be remunerated for the overtime worked. Over 40 working hours per working week must be paid at least one and a half times the regular wage. In addition, there is no limit to the number of hours that an employee aged 16 and over can work. Employers who violate minimum wage requirements are usually investigated and subject to civil penalties.

© 2021 Norris McLaughlin PA, All rights reservedNational Law Review, Volume XI, Number 161

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