DOL Reaches Agreement Resulting in Record Back Wage Amount for H-2A Temporary Agricultural Workers
Peri & Sons, a Nevada-based onion grower, has agreed to pay a record total of $2,338,700 in back wages to 1,365 workers, along with a civil money penalty of $500,000, for violations under the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program.
An investigation by the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined that workers employed by Peri & Sons involved in irrigation, as well as in harvesting, packing, and shipping onions sold in grocery stores nationwide, were not paid properly for work performed. All of the workers came to the United States from Mexico under the H-2A temporary agricultural worker visa program. In most cases, their earnings fell below the hourly wage required by the program, as well as below the federal minimum wage of $7.25 per hour for a brief period of time. Investigators also found that workers were not paid for time spent in mandatory pesticide training or reimbursed for subsistence expenses while traveling to and from the United States. Additionally, their return transportation costs at the end of the contract period were not paid as required.