As many Indiana employees will know, companies don’t always manage to keep on top of their obligations. Even for small businesses, there are a lot of things to take into consideration and mistakes can be costly. However, it is the responsibility of the employers to ensure that their employees are properly supported. This has recently become painfully apparent for one firm which has fallen foul of an unpaid-wage claim under the Immigration and Nationality act.
Barton Nursery Inc. an Edison-based plant, tree and shrub firm was investigated by the Southern New Jersey District Office of the Wage and Hour Division. What they sought to uncover appears to be whether or not the company had been compliant with H-2A regulations. These rules are in place to ensure that non-immigrant foreign workers are paid fairly and in line with U.S. workers.
However, according to the investigation, Barton Nursery was said to be in breach of these rules. It was alleged that the company not only paid their workers incorrectly, but for three years also failed to keep the required records. As a result, the firm has been forced to pay back the unpaid wages, as well as pay a penalty for the violation.
The company agreed to give the underpaid workers $27,065 to cover the amount missing from their wage packets. Furthermore, the business faces a cost of $36,615 for the violations of the H-2A. The company is now also required to have its activity closely monitored in case of further attempts to violate the H2A.
Employees in Indiana can learn from this case. If you are being paid less than you should, or not being paid at all, you need to fight back. You have the right to fair treatment by your employer and if you feel they are behaving inappropriately, you should confront them. In some cases you may wish to face them in a legal setting, and a knowledgeable attorney may be able to help.
Source: My Central Jersey, “Edison nursery agrees to pay nearly $64,000 in unpaid wages, penalties after U.S. Department of Labor investigation,” April 28, 2014