Feds: Mississippi Fish Farm caught violating federal labor laws, must pay back wages to workers

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Published: Nov. 21, 2020 at 10:07 AM CST
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SCHLATER, Miss. (WLBT) - Employees at a Mississippi fish farm will net nearly $31,000 in back pay, following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

On Friday, the division announced that Tackett Fish Farms LLC, will have to pay back wages to 38 employees for violating provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s H-2A visa program.

“Agricultural employers that bring in temporary guest workers on H-2A visas must comply with all the program’s requirements,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria. “Our work continues to safeguard American jobs and hold employers that violate the law accountable.”

Among violations, investigators determined that the farm failed to reimburse H-2A workers for expenses they incurred while traveling to employer’s locations from their home countries, a requirement under the visa program.

Wage and Hour also found that employers failed to include some required information on employees’ earning statements, a U.S. Department of Labor news release states.

H-2A visas are awarded to “temporary nonimmigrant workers … to perform agricultural labor or services of a temporary or seasonal nature,” according to the Labor department’s website.

The visas are allowed under Section 218 of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

As of 2019, the latest data available, there were nearly 205,000 H-2A workers in the country, the Economic Policy Institute states.

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