FEDERAL COURT ORDERS LABOR CONTRACTOR TO PAY MORE THAN $1M IN BACK WAGES, PENALTIES AFTER INVESTIGATIONS FIND REPEATED VIOLATIONS OF FARMWORKERS’ RIGHTS
Date Reported: 19 Sep 2023
Location: United States of America
CompaniesRancho Nuevo Harvesting - Labour Supplier , Fisher Ranch - Client , Dulcinea Farms - Client , Duda Farms - Client
Total individuals affected: 649Migrant & immigrant workers: ( Number unknown - Location unknown , Agriculture & livestock , Gender not reported )
IssuesRight to Food , Precarious/Unsuitable Living Conditions , Occupational Health & Safety , Wage Theft , Dismissal
Response sought: Yes, by The Resource Centre
Story containing response: (Find out more)
Action taken: The Resource Centre invited Duda Farms, Dulcinea Farms and Fisher Ranch to respond to the allegations; Dulcinea and Duda provided responses while Fisher Ranch did not. The federal court ordered Rancho Nuevo Harvesting to pay USD558,298 in back wages and USD475,211 in penalties
Source type: News outlet
“FEDERAL COURT ORDERS LABOR CONTRACTOR TO PAY MORE THAN $1M IN BACK WAGES, PENALTIES AFTER INVESTIGATIONS FIND REPEATED VIOLATIONS OF FARMWORKERS’ RIGHTS”
…A federal court has entered a consent judgment that orders a Santa Maria farm labor contractor to pay more than $1 million in back wages and penalties after the U.S. Department of Labor found the employer again violated regulations of the H-2A agricultural worker program.
…Rancho Nuevo Harvesting did the following:
- Failed to provide meals on Sundays and supplied farmworkers with insufficient and spoiled food.
- Housed farmworkers in quarters that failed to meet safety and health requirements.
- Did not provide safe transportation to and from housing sites and work locations.
- Failed to pay outbound transportation and subsistence when workers completed their work contracts.
- Did not meet the H-2A program’s three-fourths pay guarantee.
- Illegally sought meal and voluntary quit waivers from H-2A workers.
- Failed to state the terms and conditions accurately and completely in job orders and work contracts.
The recent findings are similar to H-2A violations by the employer that the department identified in four investigations, two in Arizona and two in California, in 2020 and 2023…
In addition, Rancho Nuevo tried to avoid paying the amounts specified in the contracts by illegally seeking worker resignations when there was insufficient work…