Landscaping company owes $36K in back wages, $40K in H-2B penalties

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) said Alvarado Landscaping, of Lorain, Ohio, faces $ 40,000 in fines and $ 36,000 in arrears Violations of the visa program for temporary foreign workers.

Under the H-2B Temporary Employment Program, employers hiring foreign temporary workers are required to pay for their international transportation and subsistence expenses while traveling from their home country, a federal regulation that a landscaping company in Lorain, Ohio, violated when workers left it hired to pay for its own way to the US

An investigation by the Ministry of Labor Division of wages and hours found that Alvarado Landscaping 12 temporary workers were $ 36,179 in arrears for violations of the H-2B visa program. The company also paid $ 40,000 in civil fines.

“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 payroll department. “Enforcing the requirements of this program will protect these vulnerable workers, protect US workers in this industry, and create a level playing field for employers who play the rules.”

The department found that Alvarado Landscaping violated the H2-B program when it:

  • 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.
  • He made undue deductions from workers’ wages to defend their homes.
  • Provided investigators with inaccurate time and salary records.

For more information about the H-2B program, the FLSA, and other laws enforced by the Payroll Department, call the agency’s toll-free line at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).

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