RICHMOND, Va. — A U.S. Department of Labor investigation has recovered more than $45,000 from a fruit company that denied dozens of agricultural workers their full wages, transportation and housing.
The department's Wage and Hour Division found that Mt. Clifton Fruit Company LLC of Timberville, Virginia, violated multiple requirements of the H-2A agricultural worker program by failing to do the following:
- Compensate 55 workers, 50 of whom came from Mexico, for all hours worked.
- Comply with the requirements of the agricultural job order.
- Pay the hourly adverse effect wage rates of $13.15 in 2021, $14.16 in 2022 and $14.91 in 2023.
- Comply with safety and health requirements for housing and transporting H-2A workers.
- Request a preoccupancy inspection of housing in a timely way.
- Comply with other applicable federal, state and local employment-related laws and regulations.
The agency recovered $45,384 in back wages, along with $8,998 in civil penalties.
Mt. Clifton is an agricultural fixed-site employer that specializes in growing and harvesting a variety of apples which are sold at retail, direct to consumers and to processors in the U.S.
“Our investigation found the Mt. Clifton Fruit Company denied dozens of agricultural workers, many of whom traveled to the U.S. at the company’s request, safe housing and transportation, and their legally earned wages,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Roberto Melendez in Richmond. “In addition to recovering back wages, we assessed penalties for these deliberate violations.”