US Department of Labor recovers $11K for 45 workers after investigation finds Tunica seafood processor violated federal wage laws
Employer: Magnolia Processing Inc.
Investigation site: 5255 Hwy 4, Tunica, MS 38676
Investigation findings: Wage and Hour Division investigators found the employer failed to comply with H-2A program regulations and also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when they failed to do the following:
- Did not state actual terms and conditions related to workers’ duties in the job order, as required.
- Failed to provide U.S. workers in the same jobs as H-2A workers with a copy of the work contract.
- Failed to pay workers subsistence as required by inbound transportation regulations for travel to the U.S.
- Failed to pay required rate to 38 current and former employees who worked in the same positions as the H-2A workers, resulting in back wages due.
- Did not meet pay statement requirements.
Back Wages Recovered: $11,383 in back wages for 45 workers. The employer paid $23,320 in civil money penalties for H-2A violations.
Quote: “The H-2A program is intended to provide employers with workers needed to operate their businesses for a temporary time period when workers are needed. The program prohibits employers from discriminating against U.S. workers and paying them less than H-2A workers,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey Hall in Jackson, Mississippi.
“Magnolia Processing’s failure to comply with requirements of the H-2A program denied workers their full wages, and led to costly penalties for the employer. This investigation emphasizes the department’s commitment to using all our enforcement tools to protect the rights of all people – both domestic and visa workers – who work in this essential industry,” Hall added.
Background: Magnolia Processing Inc. handles fresh and frozen seafood processing.
The Immigration and Nationality Act authorizes the lawful admission into the U.S. of temporary, nonimmigrant workers – H-2A workers – to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature. Employers can get more information about their responsibilities online, including guidance for employees regarding the H-2A program. Learn more about Wage and Hour Division.