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News Release

North Carolina Landscaping Company to Pay $1,277,550 After U.S. Department of Labor Finds Work Visa Program and Wage Violations

ROBBINSVILLE, NC – Lovin Contracting Co. Inc. – a landscaping company based in Robbinsville, North Carolina – will pay $1,277,550 to 231 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division investigation uncovered violations of the labor provisions of the H-2B temporary visa program and the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

WHD investigators determined Lovin Contracting Co. Inc. paid workers rates the employer established based on the workers' positions and experience, rather than paying the prevailing wage rates required by the H-2B visa program, which were higher. When employees compensated with these lower rates worked more than 40 hours in a week, additional violations resulted when their overtime was also based on these illegal lower rates. The employer was also found to have paid other workers flat salaries, without regard to the number of hours they worked. The salaries sometimes failed to cover the required rates per hour, and the employer further failed to pay these workers additional overtime when they worked more than 40 hours per week.

Lovin Contracting Co. Inc. also failed to pay most H-2B workers' transportation costs to and from their home countries, as required, and failed to pay required subsistence payments to those workers while they were in transit. The company also failed to keep complete records for any travel expenses that were reimbursed to H-2B employees, and to maintain records of hours worked by employees paid on a salary basis.

"Employers must pay employees all the wages they have legally earned, and we must ensure that employers understand and abide by the provisions of the H-2B visa program to protect the wages and working conditions of both guest and U.S. workers," said Wage and Hour District Director Richard Blaylock, in Raleigh. "The program safeguards American employees against displacement while protecting foreign workers from being paid less than the wage they were promised."

Before the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services can approve an employer's petition for H-2B visa workers, an employer must file an application with the Department stating that there are not sufficient U.S. employees who are able, willing, qualified, and available. The application must also affirm that the employment of non-immigrant, temporary workers will not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of similarly employed persons in the U.S. The law provides for numerous employee protections and employer requirements with respect to wages and working conditions that do not apply to non-agricultural programs.

For more information about the H-2B temporary visa program, FLSA, and other laws enforced by the Division, contact the toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at

Wage and Hour Division
October 10, 2018
Release Number
Media Contact: Eric R. Lucero
Phone Number
Media Contact: Michael D'Aquino