Federal labor investigation recovers more than $102K in back wages for immigrant workers at these Mississippi employers

Published 11:19 am Monday, December 27, 2021

Federal investigations of six Mississippi fish farms by the U.S. Department of Labor have led to the recovery of $102,176 in back wages for 123 workers and the assessment of $69,122 in civil money penalties, the U.S. Department of Labor reports.

The violations found by investigators included the failure to reimburse H-2A workers for transportation and subsistence, to reimburse travel-related expenses, to disclose accurate anticipated hours of work and bonus opportunities in the H-2A job order, to pay the required rate of pay for U.S. workers in corresponding employment, and to disclose all of the conditions of employment. They also identified unlawful pay deductions and recordkeeping violations.

The division’s investigations found the following employers owed back wages and assessed civil money penalties as follows:

Employer City Wages Penalties
Integrity Feeders LLC Brookhaven n/a $5,182
Jubilee Farms Indianola $87,620 $33,416
Delta Hybrid Farms Itta Bena n/a $3,037
Battle Fish North Tunica $149 $1,518
Magnolia Processing Inc. Tunica $11,383 $23,320
Phillips Brothers Farms Yazoo City $3,024 $2,649

“The U.S. Department of Labor will continue to ensure all agricultural workers, both the H-2A and corresponding U.S. workers, are paid the wages they legally earned and are provided safe working, housing and transportation conditions,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director Audrey L. Hall in Jackson, Mississippi. “These workers are a diverse group of women and men who can be particularly vulnerable to wage and labor abuses. The Wage and Hour Division is here to help both employees and employers understand federal laws. We encourage all stakeholders to take advantage of the free resources available.”