The U.S. Department of Labor has reached settlements with Bread and Roses Bakery, Inc. of Ogunquit, Maine, after the Department found the company violated terms of the H-2B non-immigrant visa program under the Immigration and Nationality Act and the minimum wage, overtime, record keeping, and child labor requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).
Under the agreements, Bread and Roses will pay $73,115 in back wages and damages to employees, and $21,052 in penalties.
The H-2B program permits employers to hire non-immigrant foreign workers to perform temporary nonagricultural labor or services in the United States. A Wage and Hour Division investigation found that Bread and Roses Bakery failed to comply with the H-2B program’s requirement to recruit American workers before hiring foreign workers when it provided inaccurate pay rates in advertising for counter attendants. The employer advertised rates of $8.79-to-$9.09 per hour, but actually paid the H-2B employees $10-to-$13 per hour.
U.S. workers may have applied for these jobs had accurate rates been provided.
Bread and Roses Bakery also employed H-2B workers in an unapproved job classification when it hired 21 H-2B employees to work as counter attendants, but actually employed many of them as bakers. The employer also failed to pay the legally required prevailing wage to nine employees.
The investigation also found that the bakery violated the FLSA when it paid 45 employees straight time for overtime. Minimum wage violations resulted when the employer failed to reimburse 10 H-2B employees for visa expenses. Additionally, Bread and Roses employed one minor in violation of the hours’ restrictions applicable to 14- and 15-year-old employees, and failed to maintain an accurate record of the hours worked by employees.
“This case highlights our commitment to protecting U.S. workers by ensuring that employers provide them the best opportunity for employment before using non-immigrant visa programs,” said the Department’s Wage and Hour Division Northern New England District Director Daniel Cronin.
“This agreement also demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that all workers are paid what they have earned and leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers,” said Merle Hyman, Counsel for Wage and Hour Programs in the office of the Regional Solicitor of Labor.