WILDER, KY – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Merkle Lawn Care Inc. – based in Wilder, Kentucky – has paid $20,502 in back wages to 42 employees for violating labor provisions of the H-2B visa program. The Department also assessed Merkle Lawn Care Inc. a civil penalty of $10,335.
WHD investigators found the landscaping contractor failed to disclose rent, vehicle insurance and uniform deductions in job advertisements. The employer charged employees rent on a weekly basis in excess of fair market value. In addition, Merkle Lawn Care charged its employees on a weekly basis for uniforms bearing the company’s name.
“Employers seeking H-2B workers must abide by all of the program’s requirements, including paying the workers as the law requires and not making illegal deductions from employees’ pay,” said Wage and Hour District Director Karen Garnett-Civils in Louisville, Kentucky. “The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to safeguard American jobs and level the playing field for law-abiding employers. We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division by phone, online or to attend any of our many virtual outreach events for assistance and to learn more about their responsibilities.”
The Department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos and confidential calls to local WHD offices.
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