The Quinn Law Firm
Call to schedule a consultation
336-790-4178Greensboro 877-781-8091Toll Free

Farmer charged $2 million, allegedly mistreated immigrant workers

Employers in North Carolina who take advantage of the H-2A visa program to staff their agricultural workforce may be interested to read about a recent incident in another state. The president of a large growing operation is facing a bill of almost $2 million. He allegedly underpaid his immigrant workers and failed to meet many of the requirements specified in the H-2A program.

North Carolina is one of the top participants in the H-2A visa program nationwide. It is a way for immigrants to legally enter the United States and perform seasonal or temporary farming work for a maximum of three years. There are stringent requirements for employer participation, including providing fair compensation and safe working conditions. Employers must attempt to hire qualified, American workers before seeking alternatives to the traditional workforce. H-2A visas are valid for a one-year period.

Officials say the farm in question underpaid its workers by almost $1 million, for which they are seeking reimbursement. They say that the farm workers were forced to pay more than $1,500 each to cover the cost of the permit -- an expense that the employer is required to pay. They also claim that workers were lodged in a barn and trailers that did not meet the minimum requirements for housing.

Farm officials deny all claims of wrongdoing. They say they are not based on a truthful representation of the facts. The immigrant workers who were underpaid while living in substandard housing, however, might disagree with that assessment. They, like many others in similar situations, would be well-advised to have a firm grasp on the legal implications of their fairly unique work environment.

Source: Santa Cruz Sentinel, "Royal Oaks farmer faces $2 million bill in worker visa case", Donna Jones, April 30, 2014

No Comments

Leave a comment
Comment Information