US Employer, Ordered to Pay H-2A Foreign Workers Back Wages

California– Just very recently, the US Department of Labor has reached an agreement with an employer to pay foreign agricultural workers back wages and other expenses due.


Back wages for H-2A workers

The Nevada-based onion grower, Peri & Sons came into an agreement to pay the total of $2,338,700 as back wages ot 1,365 workers under the H-2A program. The company also agreed to pay the amount of $500,000 as civil penalty for violating the program.

With litigation assistance from the department’s San Francisco Regional Solicitor’s Office in California, the Wage and Hour Division in Sacramento office conducted the investigation on the case.

Investigation and findings

  • Peri & Sons did not pay its workers for work rendered.
  • The workers are foreign agricultural workers under H-2A Temporary Agricultural Worker Visa program.
  • Workers’ earnings are way below the hourly wage rate of the program and below the federal minimum wage.
  • Workers were not properly paid for the time spent in the pesticide training, which was mandatory, and were not reimbursed for transportation expenses.

What is an H-2A program?

  • The H-2A program permits US based employers to hire alien national to come to the United States to temporarily fill the agricultural jobs for which American workers are not available.
  • The H-2A belongs to a nonimmigrant category that is available to foreign nationals who are seeking to render agricultural services, temporary in nature, in the United States.
  • The program is a relief to US agricultural employers in times when there is a local labor shortage. The employer may bring foreign agricultural workers to the US under H-2A.

The H-2A Agricultural employer

  • must file an application indicating that there are no sufficient local workers for the employment
  • must establish that the employment of foreign temporary agricultural workers shall not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of employed workers who are similarly situated in the US employers under the program.
  • must meet the criteria and other conditions relating to:
    • recruitment
    • housing
    • wages
    • meals
    • transportation

Hiring foreign agricultural workers

If you are operating an agricultural business in the United States and needing more workers to render agricultural services, but despite efforts to hire local workers, your job vacancies are still unfilled, you may apply under H-2A program.

While you can do it on your own, it is best to capitalize on hiring an immigration lawyer to guide you through the process of bringing to the United States qualified foreign agricultural workers. Remember that by successfully getting these foreign workers to the US to render temporary agricultural work for your company, your business will tremendously reap the benefit.

Niren and Associates is your ally to solve your immigration application issues. The firm, which has been providing immigration services for over 15 years, has an immigration office in Los Angeles and across the United States. For the evaluation of your case, you may call (213) 232-4397 or email [email protected].

Any information provided here does not constitute legal advice and is intended for general information only. Should you require legal advise, you are encouraged to contact a lawyer directly. All blog postings are public and are not subject to solicitor/client confidentially. Case results depend on a variety of factors unique to each case, and case results do not guarantee or predict a similar result in any further case undertaken by the lawyer.



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