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News Release

U.S. Department of Labor Fines Construction Employer For Violating Federal H-2B Visa Program Rules

LAKE VILLAGE, AR – Following a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, Gonzalez Rebar LLC – based in Lake Village, Arkansas – has paid $20,312 in civil money penalties to settle H-2B non-immigrant visa program violations.

WHD found Gonzalez Rebar LLC violated labor provisions of the H-2B nonimmigrant visa program by failing to comply with the prohibition against preferential treatment when it offered H-2B workers more favorable terms, including free transportation to and from work, free housing, and a range of pay rates - none of which the employer offered to U.S. workers. Additionally, Gonzales Rebar LLC failed to post and maintain a notice of worker rights in a conspicuous location that sets out the rights and protections for H-2B workers and U.S. workers.

"The U.S. Department of Labor ensures employers satisfy the obligations they agree to in temporary employment certifications and prevent practices that prefer foreign workers over qualified local candidates," said Wage and Hour Division District Director Hanz Grünauer, in Little Rock, Arkansas. "The Department is committed to safeguarding American jobs and leveling the playing field for employers."

The H-2B nonimmigrant program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the U.S. The employment must be of a temporary nature for a limited period of time such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak load need or intermittent need. The H-2B program requires the employer to attest to the Department that it will offer a wage that equals or exceeds the highest of the prevailing wage, applicable federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage, or local minimum wage to the H-2B nonimmigrant worker for the occupation in the area of intended employment during the entire period of the approved H-2B labor certification.

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

Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the Division.

Agency
Wage and Hour Division
Date
July 29, 2019
Release Number
19-1138-DAL
Contact: Juan Rodriguez
Contact: Chauntra Rideaux
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