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News Brief

Philadelphia-based farm labor contractor ordered to pay $146K in penalties for federal labor violations at Lumberton, New Jersey, nursery

Type of Action: Default Judgment

Respondents: Farm labor contractor Heng Heng Agency, Inc., and its owner Visith Oum

Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor filed suit against the respondents in September 2014 following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division's Southern New Jersey District Office, which uncovered violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act. Investigators determined that respondents failed to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as required by the FLSA, to 125 temporary employees hired to work at Medford Nursery in Lumberton, N.J. The Wage and Hour Division previously cited respondents for failure to pay minimum wage in 2012. Respondents also failed to keep proper records, provide safe transportation vehicles and obtain required insurance, in violation of the MSPA.

Resolution: An administrative law judge with the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Heng Heng Agency, Inc. and its owner Visith Oum to pay $146,100 in civil money penalties. Respondents have until April 19 to file an appeal with the Administrative Review Board. The case was litigated by Orly Shoham in the department's New York Office of the Solicitor. Medford Nursery paid the wages due to employees in September 2013.

"Employers do not have the right to shortchange temporary workers simply because they are not permanent employees," said Charlene Rachor, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Southern New Jersey District Office. "This case demonstrates our commitment to hold employers accountable when they fail to meet their responsibility to pay the minimum wages required by law."

Court: Office of Administrative Law Judges, Cherry Hill, N.J.

Docket Number: 2014 — FLS-00008 and 2014-MSP-00009

Wage and Hour Division
March 31, 2015
Release Number
Media Contact: Joanna Hawkins
Media Contact: Leni Fortson