By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Outdoors Unlimited Inc., a landscaping company based in Rockvale, Tennessee, will pay $52,000 in back wages to 21 employees for violating labor provisions of the H-2B visa program. WHD also debarred the employer from participating in the H-2B temporary nonagricultural labor certification program for one year.

WHD determined Outdoors Unlimited Inc. failed to record and pay employees for time they
spent loading and unloading trucks for each day’s activities before and after their scheduled
shifts. The employer also failed to pay for time workers spent traveling between job sites during
the workday. This unpaid time resulted in overtime violations when the employees’ actual hours
exceeded 40 in a workweek.

The H-2B nonimmigrant program permits employers to temporarily hire nonimmigrants to perform nonagricultural labor or services, such as landscaping, 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 or applicable minimum wage and pay overtime 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 are concerned about your company’s immigration compliance, I invite you to read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book that I co-authored with Greg Siskind, available at