Ohio Landscaping Company to Pay $18,469 in Back Wages to 12 Employees After U.S. Labor Department Finds Violations of H-2B Visa Program
COLUMBUS, OH – After a settlement agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Yard Solutions – based in Groveport, Ohio – will pay $18,469 in back wages to 12 employees to resolve violations of the labor provisions of the H-2B guest worker visa program, under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges approved the consent findings and settlement agreement. The employer will also pay civil money penalties of $6,531. The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program permits employers to hire nonimmigrants to perform temporary nonagricultural labor or services in the U.S.
WHD determined Yard Solutions failed to comply with the law’s prohibition against preferential treatment when it offered H-2B workers more favorable employment terms than those offered to U.S. workers. The employer required U.S. workers to submit to a drug test, while not requiring guest workers to do so. Additionally, the employer failed to pay workers for time spent traveling between the shop and the first job site of the day, and failed to pay for visa processing fees. Yard Solutions also made misrepresentations in their application for guest workers with respect to the start date and number of workers needed.
“Employer obligations are clearly detailed during the process of seeking certification to hire temporary foreign laborers under the H-2B Visa Program,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director George Victory in Columbus, Ohio. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to safeguarding American jobs and leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers. We encourage employers with questions about how to meet their contractual obligations to contact the Department for assistance.”
For more information about the H-2B Visa Program and other laws enforced by WHD, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information is also available at https://www.dol.gov/agencies/whd, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.
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.