US Department of Labor finds federal wage violations, recovers more than $128K in back wages for employees of Vermont insulation, roofing contractor
MANCHESTER, NH – A Vermont-based insulation and roofing contractor’s disregard of federal laws has led to the recovery of $163,492 in back wages and civil money penalties to resolve violations of the H-2B guest worker visa program and Fair Labor Standards Act. The company violated protections for seasonal workers employed under H-2B guest worker visas, as well as its year-round, non H-2B workers.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation revealed that Dayco Inc. violated the H-2B guest worker visa program’s prohibition against preferential treatment by including a drug-testing requirement in employment advertised to non-H-2B workers while not requiring workers employed under the H-2B guest worker visa program to undergo such testing. Dayco also failed to disclose the availability of worker housing to prospective non-H-2B workers.
Additionally, in their visa petition for H-2B guest workers, Dayco indicated workers would be employed as “helpers – roofers,” but employed them in other job classifications, such as roofers, requiring higher rates of pay. The division also found the employer paid H-2B guest workers less than the required prevailing wage for their approved and advertised occupations while employed in Vermont and New Hampshire. Dayco also failed to include travel hours in the total number of weekly work hours when calculating overtime, a FLSA violation. Dayco failed to pay the full amount of workers’ inbound and outbound transportation and subsistence costs as required and did not post the H-2B employee rights poster.
Dayco paid $31,236 in FLSA back wages to 26 workers and $6,670 in FLSA civil money penalties to the department. Additionally, under a settlement agreement and consent findings approved by the department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges, Dayco paid $97,430 in H-2B back wages to 12 guest workers and $28,156 in H-2B civil money penalties. The consent findings also require Dayco to comply in all respects with the requirements of the H-2B guest worker visa program in the future, and specifically meet its wage obligations as agreed and attested to in all of its Applications for Temporary Employment Certification.
“When employers fail to follow the H-2B guest worker visa program rules, it shortchanges workers, denying them job opportunities and proper compensation. In this case, the employer put non-H-2B workers at a disadvantage by creating unequal requirements for employment,” said Wage and Hour District Director Steven McKinney in Manchester, New Hampshire. “Employers can prevent such violations, and we encourage employers and employees with questions about the H-2B guest worker visa program or the Fair Labor Standards Act to contact the Wage and Hour Division.”
“Employers who disregard compliance with the H-2B guest worker visa program and the Fair Labor Standards Act harm workers and cheat competitors who abide by the law,” said regional Solicitor of Labor Maia Fisher in Boston, Massachusetts. “The U.S. Department of Labor will take legal action to ensure job applicants and workers are recruited and paid properly.”
Based in Sharon, Vermont, Dayco Inc. is an insulation and roofing contractor that serves commercial, industrial and residential customers throughout Vermont and New Hampshire.
Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.
For more information about H-2B guest worker visa program, the FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and use its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division.