After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, Outdoors Unlimited Inc., a landscaping company based in Rockvale, Tennessee, will pay $52,000 in back wages to 21 employees for violating labor provisions of the H-2B visa program. WHD also debarred the employer from participating in the H-2B program for one year.

WHD determined that Outdoors Unlimited failed to record and pay employees for time they spent loading and unloading trucks for each day’s activities before and after their scheduled shifts. The employer also failed to pay for time workers spent traveling between job sites during the workday. This unpaid time resulted in overtime violations when the employees’ actual hours exceeded 40 in a workweek.

“Employers must ensure they understand and meet all of their obligations under the H-2B visa program,” says Nettie Lewis, wage and hour division district director in Nashville, Tennessee. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to safeguarding American jobs, leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers and protecting vulnerable workers from being paid less than they are legally owed. We encourage employers to reach out to us with questions, and to use the wide variety of tools we offer to help them understand their responsibilities.”