U.S. Department of Labor has revealed that owner of two horse training facilities in the country has been ordered to pay back wages of about $1.3 million to migrants whom he underpaid and gave substandard accommodation for years.
The Department of Labor accused the owner of both Gilroy Gaits in Hollister and Portola Valley Training Center in Menlo Park - Kevin Chambers - of not paying migrants the country's minimum wage and overtime hence he was found guilty of the violation of regulations pertaining to work visa program.
The 30 migrant workers in question came to the US H-2B guest workers which were part of temporary visas to fill non-agricultural jobs. According to court documents, the employees are owed wages between the years 2015 and 2018.
No Unfair Advantage for Unfair Employers
Susana Blanco, Director of Wage and Hour Division District, said U.S. Department of Labor will always do all it can to make sure all employees are fairly treated. Following the court's judgment regarding Chambers, Blanco said the judgment is a true reflection of the agency's commitment towards ensuring no unfair advantage is gained by employers who do not abide by employment's law at the expense of law-abiding ones.
Chambers violated a number of regulations including Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, the Fair Labor Standards Act and H-2B visa program
guidelines, as revealed by the investigation carried out by the Department of labor.
A lawsuit was filed against Chambers by the Department of Labor in January for not paying employees as at when due as well as not keeping a record of overtime done by employees. He is now to pay $100,000 in civil penalties and $1.27 million in back wages to the employees.
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