New Hampshire Resort Pays $124,999 in Back Wages and Penalties To Resolve H-2B Violations Found By U.S. Department of Labor
MANCHESTER, NH – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), The NASWA Motor Inn Inc. – doing business as The NASWA Resort in Laconia, New Hampshire – has paid a total of $64,449 in back wages to 64 employees and $60,550 in civil money penalties to resolve violations of the H-2B non-immigrant visa program.
WHD investigators found that the resort failed to comply with several requirements of the H-2B visa program, which permits employers to hire temporarily non-immigrant foreign workers to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the U.S. for a limited time.
The NASWA Resort failed to offer the same terms and working conditions to U.S. job applicants that it provided to H-2B employees during 2016 and 2017. In its job advertisement, the NASWA Resort stated that employees would be required to pay for housing and a security deposit, but did not require H-2B employees to pay the security deposit and did not require all H-2B employees to pay for housing. The advertisement offered 35 weekly hours, significantly less than the 2016 and 2017 actual weekly averages of 48 and 45, respectively. It also failed to include the availability of a higher rate of pay in the job advertisement.
Additional violations included:
- Placing H-2B employees in job classifications outside of those included on the employer’s approved applications, and paying workers in those categories less than the required wages;
- Requiring the foreign employees to pay their own visa fees;
- Using a recruiter who charged 44 of the foreign employees registration and processing fees;
- Failing to provide the required job information to all foreign employees when required;
- Failing to reimburse employees the required amount for travel to the resort and back to their home countries;
- Overcharging foreign employees for housing; and
- Failing to display the H-2B notice of employees’ rights poster.
“The Wage and Hour Division will always ensure that employers who use this program follow all of its requirements. Our work in this area safeguards American jobs, levels the playing field for law-abiding employers, and protects vulnerable workers from being paid less than they are legally owed,” said Daniel Cronin, the Wage and Hour Division’s Northern New England District Director.
WHD’s Northern New England District Office conducted the investigation. The Department’s Regional Office of the Solicitor in Boston negotiated the settlement for WHD.
WHD is distributing back wage payments to many employees who worked during the 2016 and 2017 seasons. Employees may contact the District Office at 603-666-7716 to determine whether they are due back wages and to make payment arrangements, which will require identity verification.
“The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to hold employers accountable when they employ workers outside of the approved job classifications and fail to pay the required wage rates,” said Mark Pedulla, Counsel for Wage and Hour Programs in the office of the Regional Solicitor of Labor in Boston.
For more information about the FLSA and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Employers who discover overtime or minimum wage violations may self-report and resolve those violations without litigation through the PAID program. Information is also available at www.dol.gov/whd including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by WHD.
WHD’s mission is to promote and achieve compliance with labor standards to protect and enhance the welfare of the Nation's workforce. WHD enforces Federal minimum wage, overtime pay, recordkeeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act. WHD also enforces the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Employee Polygraph Protection Act, the Family and Medical Leave Act, wage garnishment provisions of the Consumer Credit Protection Act, and a number of employment standards and worker protections as provided in several immigration related statutes. Additionally, WHD administers and enforces the prevailing wage requirements of the Davis Bacon Act and the Service Contract Act and other statutes applicable to Federal contracts for construction and for the provision of goods and services.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote, and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers, and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.