Farm Contractor Again Violates Federal Employment Laws | Food Manufacturing

A call to the “Employment, Education and Outreach” hotline maintained by the U.S. Department of Labor led federal investigators to find a Baxley farm labor contractor – who violated several federal laws related to the employment of migrant and seasonal workers previously – had broken the law again, this time for missing a payroll.

After a worker called the “EMPLEO” hotline – a contact center for Spanish-speaking workers – alleging City Pinestraw & Harvesting LLC missed a scheduled payroll, investigators with the department’s Wage and Hour Division were able to verify the claim, and to later recover $42,338 in wages owed to 171 affected workers.

“Regardless of their immigration status, Spanish-speaking workers can use the Wage and Hour Division’s EMPLEO program to get answers about their workplace rights without cost while remaining anonymous,” explained Wage and Hour Division District Director Steven Salazar in Atlanta. “Just as farmworkers do the hard labor it takes to put food on our tables, the U.S. Department of Labor works vigorously to protect the rights of these essential workers, and hold their employers accountable when they violate the law.”

Prior to the investigation related to the missed payroll, a division investigation found City Pinestraw & Harvesting had shortchanged workers’ wages and moved four farm workers from an approved work site to work at the employer’s restaurant. These actions and others led to multiple violations of the H-2A temporary agricultural workers visa programMigrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and Fair Labor Standards Act.

Source: Farm Contractor Again Violates Federal Employment Laws | Food Manufacturing