Aug. 29 2019 09:09 AM

The charges include offering free housing to its foreign workers, but not to U.S. applicants.

Troy, Michigan-based Twin Pines Landscaping Inc. has been cited by The U.S. Department of Labor for failing to pay overtime, failing to pay required prevailing wages and giving preferential treatment to foreigners holding visas over U.S. employees.

The DOL states that the company is in violation of both the Fair Labor Standards Act and the H-2B temporary visa program.

Investigators found that the company violated H-2B requirements when it paid landscape laborers flat weekly salaries that failed to cover all the hours that they worked at the required prevailing wage.

The company also failed to comply with the provision prohibiting preferential treatment of H-2B employees by offering its foreign employees free housing. This was not advertised on the job order when the company recruited U.S. workers.

It also failed to provide accurate earning statements, and paid employees flat weekly salaries without regard to the number of hours they actually worked. This is a violation of FLSA overtime requirements.

To resolve the violations, Twin Pines paid 15 H-2B landscape laborers $97,286 in back wages. That’s not all the company will have to pay: DOL’s Wage and Hour Division assessed an additional $48,241 in penalties.