Littleton-based Parkside Landscaping paid more than half a million dollars in back wages and more than $26,000 in penalties after an investigation by the federal Department of Labor found that the …
Littleton-based Parkside Landscaping paid more than half a million dollars in back wages and more than $26,000 in penalties after an investigation by the federal Department of Labor found that the company violated the Fair Labor Standards Act and provisions of the H-2B nonimmigrant visa program.
Investigators found that the company owed $524,063 in back wages to 53 workers hired as part of the visa program, which allows employers to hire foreign workers for temporary or seasonal jobs. Parkside was fined $26,104 for not paying agreed-upon wages, and failing to provide earnings statements, pay overtime wages, provide job orders to employees or comply with safety requirements for employer-provided transportation.
“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 similarly employed U.S. workers,” Betty Campbell, the Southwest Regional Administrator for the Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division, said in a statement. “The program safeguards American employees against displacement while protecting vulnerable foreign workers from being paid less than the prevailing wage or otherwise working under substandard conditions.”
The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program permits employers to hire foreign workers to perform nonagricultural labor on a seasonal or temporary basis, and requires employers to offer a wage that meets or exceeds minimum wage to protect similarly-employed local workers.