California Farm Labor Companies Fined for Wage Violations and Unsafe Conditions
June 15, 2011
According to a recent article in the Los Angeles Times that our Santa Ana, California labor and employment attorneys have been following, two farm labor contractor companies have been ordered by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) to pay $91,300 in back pay and fines--after DOL investigations found the company responsible for engaging in unsafe employment conditions and wage violations.
The labor department reportedly began investigating the labor companies, Mid-Valley Labor Services and Ayala Corp., after two 2010 traffic incidents killed six migrant and seasonal farm workers, and seriously injured six other employees. The DOL found both companies failed to provide workplace protections to agricultural workers, violating the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act.
Under the federal act, is critical that farm employers and labor contractors provide a safe means of transportation for agricultural workers and use drivers that are properly licensed. The DOL investigation found that Mid-Valley Labor Services reportedly failed to check that drivers had current and valid licenses or necessary insurance coverage. Ayala Corporation also reportedly failed to provide transportation to its farm workers that was safe, and failed to provide vehicle insurance to its drivers.
The DOL also found that Mid-Valley Labor Services responsible for failing to pay 114 farm workers their wages on time, illegally charging workers for their transportation, and neglecting to compensate employees for any employment activities performed before their farm shifts began. The department recovered nearly $50,000 in back wages for the 114 Mid-Valley workers and $960 for six Ayala Corp. workers.
If you or someone you know in Orange County, California, has experienced violations of wage and hour laws, or unsafe labor conditions, contact our Anaheim-based team of attorneys and professionals for a free consultation, to discuss your labor and employment rights. Call toll-free at 1-800-872-5925.
U.S. Department of Labor fines California farm labor firms for unsafe conditions, wage violations, Los Angeles Times, June 13, 2011
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