Florida Record

Sunday, December 15, 2019

DEPARTMENT OF LABOR: U.S. Department of Labor Investigation Finds Florida Farm Labor Contractor Violated Guest Worker Visa Program Requirements

By Press release submission | Nov 26, 2019

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U.S. Department of Labor issued the following announcement on Nov. 20.

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Red Harvesting Inc. – a farm labor contractor based in Lake Placid, Florida – has paid $39,527 in wages to 119 employees for violating requirements of the H-2A visa program. The contractor also paid a $1,214 civil penalty, assessed by the Department.

WHD investigators determined that Red Harvesting Inc. failed to provide meals or kitchen facilities to employees, instead choosing to arrange for a caterer that the workers paid directly. In addition, Red Harvesting Inc. failed to meet safety and health requirements of the visa program by housing one employee at a hotel on mattresses laid on the floor despite a bed frame being available. WHD investigators also found Red Harvesting Inc. failed to meet transportation safety requirements when the reverse lights on one vehicle they used to transport workers failed to function.

“Agricultural employers that bring in temporary guest workers on H-2A visas are responsible for the required payment, housing and transportation of those individuals,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Daniel White, in Jacksonville, Florida. “We will continue to safeguard American jobs, level the playing field for law-abiding employers, and ensure that workers are paid the wages that they legally earned. We offer a wealth of compliance information readily available to assist employers and farm labor contractors in understanding their obligations under the law. ”

Original source can be found here.

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U.S. Department of Labor