February 23, 2023

California FLC Ordered to Pay over $460,000 to Farmworkers

 A Salinas labor contractor has been ordered to pay more than $460,000 in damages and penalties for allegedly withholding the final paychecks and transportation expenses of hundreds of domestic and H-2A farmworkers after a U.S. district court awarded the U.S Department of Labor (DOL) a consent judgment against the company.  The consent judgment follows a DOL investigation and litigation. 

A. Oseguera Company Inc. and its owners were found to have violated federal law1 by failing to:

  • Pay workers at their required rate of pay. 
  • Pay outbound transportation and subsistence costs as the H-2A program requires.  
  • Keep accurate pay records.  
  • Satisfy the requirements of the job order. 

The consent judgment will hold A. Oseguera and its owners in contempt for any future violations and requires: 

  • A full-time monitor to oversee the company’s H-2A and Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act (MSPA) operations; 
  • A significant increase in the amounts of the company’s surety bonds; and 
  • Mandatory training on the Fair Labor Standards Act, MSPA, and the H-2A rules within the next two years for company supervisors, foremen and payroll personnel.   

This DOL action serves as a stark reminder to all employers to remain updated and compliant with federal, state or local wage and hour laws, and H-2A requirements when applicable. Employers can mitigate their risk by engaging in self-audits, investing in supervisor training, and using a qualified agent such as Western Growers H-2A Services, to assure compliance and to uncover and remedy discrepancies quickly.  

  1. The Fair Labor Standards Act, the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act and the H-2A Temporary Agricultural Program under the Immigration and Nationality Act.