CHARLOTTE — The U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has charged a North Carolina landscaping company with H-2B temporary visa program and wage violations.
According to the WHD, Lovin Contracting Co Inc. will pay $1,277,550 to 231 employees for paying worker's rates based on their position and experience instead of the wage rates required by the H-21B visa program that were higher. In addition, the employees who were paid the lower rates worked more than 40 hours a week with their overtime based on the illegal, lower wages, the WHD said.
The salaries received by the workers did not cover required "rates per hour" and did not include additional overtime worked, according to the WHD.
"Employers must pay employees all the wages they have legally earned, and we must ensure that employers understand and abide by the provisions of the H-2B visa program to protect the wages and working conditions of both guest and U.S. workers," WHD district director Richard Blaylock said in a statement. "The program safeguards American employees against displacement while protecting foreign workers from being paid less than the wage they were promised."
Lovin Contracting also did not pay a majority of its H-2B workers' transportation costs to and from their home countries or the required subsistence payments to workers while they are in transit, according to the WHD.