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News Release

U.S. California Farm Labor Contractor Pays $143,078 in Back Wages To Resolve Wage Violations Found By U.S. Department of Labor

BRENTWOOD, CA – J. Carmen Mora – a Northern California farm labor contractor – has paid $143,078 in back wages to 199 employees after a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation found multiple violations of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA). Additionally, WHD assessed the employer $23,048 in civil penalties.

WHD investigators found Mora - doing business as J.C. Mora in Brentwood, California - violated MSPA requirements by illegally deducting up to 12 percent in federal and state tax withholdings from employees' earnings and then failing to remit the withholdings to the IRS and to state tax officials.

Investigators found the farm labor contractor also failed to disclose employment conditions, provide wage statements, display MSPA posters, and keep employment records, as required.

"Employers are responsible for paying their employees all the wages they have legally earned," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Susana Blanco, in San Jose. "We urge employers to call us for assistance, and to use the tools we provide to help them comply with the law. We offer numerous resources for agricultural employers and engage in a robust outreach program to provide the information employers need."

MSPA protects migrant and seasonal agricultural workers by establishing employment standards related to wages, housing, transportation, disclosures, and recordkeeping. For general information on MSPA, please see the Employment Law Guide or the Wage and Hour Division's MSPA fact sheet.

To operate legally as farm labor contractors, individuals and companies must register with the U.S. Department of Labor. Farm labor contractors that intend to house, transport, or drive a migrant or seasonal agricultural worker must meet special requirements. Application materials and instructions are available online.

Employees and employers with questions about MSPA or any of the federal laws administered by the Division should call the agency's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). All calls are confidential. More information also is available online at

Wage and Hour Division
April 25, 2019
Release Number
Media Contact: Leo Kay
Phone Number
Media Contact: Jose Carnevali
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