Investigation Finds Seafood Processor Violated Federal Wage Laws

The company failed to pay the required rate to dozens of current and former employees.

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The U.S. Department of Labor announced Tuesday that it recovered more than $11,000 for 45 workers after an investigation found that a Mississippi seafood processor violated federal wage laws.

The agency's Wage and Hour Division found that Magnolia Processing Inc. of Tunica, Mississippi, failed to comply with H-2A program regulations and also violated the Fair Labor Standards Act when they failed to do the following:

  • Did not state actual terms and conditions related to workers’ duties in the job order, as required.
  • Failed to provide U.S. workers in the same jobs as H-2A workers with a copy of the work contract.
  • Failed to pay workers subsistence as required by inbound transportation regulations for travel to the U.S.
  • Failed to pay required rate to 38 current and former employees who worked in the same positions as the H-2A workers, resulting in back wages due.
  • Did not meet pay statement requirements.

The agency recovered $11,383 in back wages, and Magnolia paid $23,320 in civil money penalties for H-2A violations.

"Magnolia Processing’s failure to comply with requirements of the H-2A program denied workers their full wages, and led to costly penalties for the employer," Audrey Hall, the Wage and Hour Division district director in Jackson, Mississippi, said in a statement. "This investigation emphasizes the department’s commitment to using all our enforcement tools to protect the rights of all people – both domestic and visa workers – who work in this essential industry."

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