Saturday, April 9, 2011

Feds order Tennessee employer to cough up $36,000 for illegal treatment of guest workers, also "willful" immigration violations

Hilario Razura, former employee of Vanderbilt Landscaping
Photo Copyright Used with permission.

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered Tennessee company Vanderbilt Landscaping (no relation to the university) to pay over $36,000 for illegal treatment of guest workers. Some of that conduct was "willful," according to the DOL:
including the placement of workers outside the area of their intended employment, not conducting required recruitment of U.S. citizens and misrepresenting the reason for its temporary need for H-2B workers.
More general labor violations included failing to pay minimum wage and overtime.

Read the DOL press release, including its summary of the H-2B guest worker rules at issue, here.

NewsChannel5 tried to get a quote out of Vanderbilt Landscaping but was unsuccessful. Their story is here and has some of the background.

James Nix of the Nashville City Paper had a cover story this week on the workers and their lawsuit for various labor conditions at Vanderbilt Landscaping. Read that story here.

Last August, I interviewed one of the workers about his life and family in Mexico, and how he was recruited to Tennessee. That interview with Hilario Razura is here.

Is it me, or do Americans and employers get off pretty easily for immigration violations, while foreigners and employees suffer much more severe consequences for their immigration violations?

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