Labor Dept. Says Michigan Contractor Must Pay $102,808 Over H-2B Workers

On Monday, the Department of Labor said it found Metropolitan Concrete Corp., a Michigan contractor, had misrepresented 15 employees as landscapers, rather than cement masons or concrete finishers. Further, the Labor Department found that the company failed to pay for job-related costs (like travel expenses), failed to supply employees with the equipment and tools needed to work, and made impermissible deductions by withholding (for housing expenses) part of the employees’ earnings.

The Labor Department stated that the company’s failure to advertise for the correct position might have led to fewer applicants for the job than there would have been otherwise. This is significant because because the H-2B nonimmigrant classification is available to particular non-citizens seeking to do temporary non-agricultural work in the US so long as their work would not displace qualified US workers available to perform such work and so long as their work does not adversely affect the wages and working conditions of US workers. By failing to advertise the correct position, the Labor Department theory goes, the company stacked the deck.

About this case, Timolin E. Mitchell, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Detroit District Office, stated, “[it] demonstrates our commitment to ensuring all workers are paid what they have legally earned and to leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers.”

The Michigan contractor must pay a total of $102,808 to the H-2B employees it improperly classified.