By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC



Following a U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division (WHD) investigation, Gonzalez Rebar LLC, a construction company based in Lake Village, Arkansas, has paid $20,312 in civil money penalties to settle H-2B non-immigrant visa program violations.

WHD found Gonzalez Rebar violated labor provisions of the H-2B nonimmigrant visa program by failing to comply with the prohibition against preferential treatment when it offered H-2B workers more favorable terms, including free transportation to and from work, free housing, and a range of pay rates - none of which the employer offered to U.S. workers. Additionally, Gonzales Rebar LLC failed to post and maintain a notice of worker rights in a conspicuous location that sets out the rights and protections for H-2B workers and U.S. workers.

The H-2B nonimmigrant program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to perform nonagricultural labor or services in the U.S. The H-2B program requires the employer to attest to the WHD that it will offer a wage that equals or exceeds the highest of the prevailing wage, applicable federal minimum wage, the state minimum wage, or local minimum wage to the H-2B nonimmigrant worker for the occupation in the area of intended employment during the entire period of the approved H-2B labor certification.

If you want to know more information on issues related to employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.