By: Bruce E Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

The U.S. Department of Labor, through its Wage and Hour Division, has recovered $81,139 in back wages for 29 foreign workers brought to Florida for employment with Wavertree Stables under the H-2B guest worker visa program. Additionally, Wavertree Stables paid $56,806 in civil penalties for the violations.

These payments were after the Wage and Hour Division’s investigation found Wavertree Stables violated the program when it failed to pay guest workers required wages. The shortage resulted from the employer’s failure to pay employees for all the hours that they worked, effectively lowering their hourly rates. The investigation also found the employer failed to reimburse workers for their travel expenses incurred traveling to and from their home countries, as the program requires. The employer also failed to keep an accurate record of the number of hours employees worked.

The employer also staggered the workers’ arrival in the U.S., contrary to the need stated in Wavertree Stables’ H-2B Petition requesting foreign workers.