Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
Archived News Release — Caution: Information may be out of date.
Date: March 31, 2015
Contact: Leni Fortson and Joanna Hawkins
Phone: 215-861-5102 215-861-5101
U.S. Department of Labor
Wage and Hour Division
Release Number: 15-509-NEW (wh 15-025)
Philadelphia-based farm labor contractor ordered to pay $146K in penalties for federal labor violations at Lumberton, New Jersey, nursery
Type of Action: Default Judgment
Respondents: Farm labor contractor Heng Heng Agency, Inc., and its owner Visith Oum
Allegations: The U.S. Department of Labor filed suit against the respondents in September 2014 following an investigation by the Wage and Hour Division’s Southern New Jersey District Office, which uncovered violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Workers Protection Act. Investigators determined that respondents failed to pay the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour as required by the FLSA, to 125 temporary employees hired to work at Medford Nursery in Lumberton, N.J. The Wage and Hour Division previously cited respondents for failure to pay minimum wage in 2012. Respondents also failed to keep proper records, provide safe transportation vehicles and obtain required insurance, in violation of the MSPA.
Resolution: An administrative law judge with the U.S. Department of Labor ordered Heng Heng Agency, Inc. and its owner Visith Oum to pay $146,100 in civil money penalties. Respondents have until April 19 to file an appeal with the Administrative Review Board. The case was litigated by Orly Shoham in the department’s New York Office of the Solicitor. Medford Nursery paid the wages due to employees in September 2013.
“Employers do not have the right to shortchange temporary workers simply because they are not permanent employees,” said Charlene Rachor, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Southern New Jersey District Office. “This case demonstrates our commitment to hold employers accountable when they fail to meet their responsibility to pay the minimum wages required by law.”
Court: Office of Administrative Law Judges, Cherry Hill, N.J.
Docket Number: 2014 – FLS-00008 and 2014-MSP-00009
U.S. Department of Labor releases are accessible on the Internet at www.dol.gov. The information in this news release will be made available in alternate format (large print, Braille, audio tape or disc) from the COAST office upon request. Please specify which news release when placing your request at (202) 693-7828 or TTY (202) 693-7755. The Labor Department is committed to providing America’s employers and employees with easy access to understandable information on how to comply with its laws and regulations. For more information, please visit www.dol.gov/compliance.