U.S. DEPARTMENT OF LABOR DEBARS SOUTH DAKOTA CONSTRUCTION COMPANY FROM PARTICIPATION IN H VISA PROGRAMS FOR 5 YEARS
FLORENCE, SD – After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD), Dagel Steel Construction – based in Florence, South Dakota – agreed to be debarred from participating in the H Visa programs for five years. WHD investigators alleged the company violated the labor provisions of the H-2B Visa Program.
The investigation led to a settlement agreement that included the company’s payment of $69,951 in back wages to 16 H-2B laborers – recruited from South Africa and Mexico – to resolve the alleged violations. Dagel Steel Construction also paid $30,049 in civil money penalties.
“The U.S. Department of Labor sought debarment of Dagel Steel Construction because the employer failed to comply with well-documented requirements of the H-2B Visa Program. The employer’s obligations are clearly detailed during the process of seeking certification to hire temporary foreign laborers,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Betty Campbell in Dallas, Texas. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to safeguarding American jobs, leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers and protecting vulnerable workers from being paid less than they are legally owed.”
Specifically, WHD investigators alleged Dagel Steel Construction – which specializes in erecting steel grain bin elevators and other commercial buildings – violated H-2B requirements when it:
- Paid workers less than the required wage rate;
- Failed to notify federal agencies of early separation of six H-2B workers;
- Assigned H-2 B employees to work in locations outside the certified job location in South Dakota;
- Assigned H-2B workers to perform job duties outside the certified job description;
- Failed to identify accurately the number of workers needed and the period of need;
- Failed to pay workers’ inbound and outbound transportation costs from their home countries as required;
- Failed to pay housing and visa costs as required;
- Took impermissible deductions from H-2B workers’ wages; and
- Failed to post the required H-2B poster.
WHD also alleged that Dagel Steel Construction failed to comply with FLSA recordkeeping requirements.
Stay in Compliance
As employers utilizing the program are held to increasingly high standards, H-2B compliance is more crucial than ever. While many employers believe themselves to be in compliance, a third party may be able to provide a more accurate picture. The expert team at Phoenix Labor has over 30 years of H-2B experience, meaning we can help to ensure you are taking all of the right steps and that all of your pieces are in place.