Landscapers beware, Pay Now or Pay Later
DOLI Requires Company to Pay $300,000.
A Connecticut-based landscaping company will have to pay $300,000 in back wages and penalties for alleged violations of the law in hiring H-2B visa workers. Under a consent order announced recently, they will pay $280,000 in back wages to workers the Department of Labor asserts were underpaid and another $20,000 in penalties for violating the law.
The federal H-2B program allows employers to hire temporary workers from oversees if they are unable to fill the positions with domestic workers. The law also requires that temporary workers who receive visas through the program are paid at the prevailing wage rate for the industry they are working in.
Ultimate Services Professional Grounds Management Inc., the landscaping company, was apparently accused of underpaying foreign workers and maintaining false records claiming that they had hired many more American workers than they actually employed.
If your company relies on temporary (or even permanent) workers from oversees, it is essential that you consult a qualified attorney to ensure that you are complying with federal employment and immigration law. If you don’t, the price could be steep.