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New York landscaping company ordered to pay more than $1M for H-2B violations

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Dario’s Landscaping will pay $1.1 million, plus $12,021 in post-judgment interest and will be debarred from the H-2B program for one year. 

A U.S. Department of Labor investigation found that a Southampton, N.Y., landscaping company failed to comply with requirements of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) and the federal H-2B worker program and will recover over $1 million in back wages and liquidated damages for 54 underpaid workers.

The investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division determined that over three years, Dario’s Landscaping violated the FLSA when it did not pay employees any overtime for hours worked over 40 in a workweek and provided false records to division investigators in an attempt to cover up wage violations.

The investigation found that between October 2018 and October 2021, the employer failed to pay H-2B workers the correct rate, threatened that H-2B workers would not be rehired if they cooperated with division investigators and coached workers to give false testimony.

“Unfortunately, H-2B program workers are vulnerable to being shortchanged by employers,” said Wage and Hour Division District Director David An. “H-2B employers that willfully disregard the law could face debarment and costly penalties.”

On Feb. 16, 2024, a federal judge issued a consent judgment, requiring Dario’s Landscaping to pay $484,690 in FLSA back wages and an equal amount in liquidated damages to 54 workers. On Jan. 22, 2024, an administrative law judge approved H-2B consent findings, ordering Dario’s Landscaping to pay an additional $31,710 in back wages to 29 of the workers. Dario’s Landscaping will also pay civil money penalties of $98,908. In total, the employer will pay $1.1 million, plus $12,021 in post-judgment interest and will be debarred from the H-2B program for one year.

“The U.S. Department of Labor will pursue all necessary legal actions to ensure that employers are held accountable when they fail to uphold their obligations to comply with federal laws,” said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey S. Rogoff.

LM Staff

LM Staff

Landscape Management's staff brings together collective experience in journalism, research, writing, and editing. Our team stays tapped into the pulse of the industry, covering a wide range topics with a commitment to delivering compelling stories and high-quality content.

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