A U.S. Department of Labor investigation concluded that Miguel Rosales Ruiz (a farm labor contractor) violated the Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection. Mr. Ruiz failed to maintain required FLSA accurate time records such as an employee time clock, or any one of the hundreds of electronic time clock systems available today.
Mary O’Rourke, district director for the Wage and Hour Division stated that “The work of the Wage and Hour Division helps ensure that the fruits and vegetables sold to the American people are produced under fair and equitable employment conditions.”
Investigators found Ruiz, did not pay workers the federal minimum wage, or overtime, and will now be subjected to paying 33 workers $14,628, which comes out to $7,314 in back wages and as well as $7,314 in liquidated damages.
The Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act provides federal labor protections specifically in the areas of farm worker labor contracting and recruitment. The Act pertains to time card record keeping, on line payroll wage payment, and working conditions.
Nearly 3 million people work on American farms, with nearly 80% born outside the United States, many poorly educated, making them susceptible to illegal business practices, and substandard working conditions. With so many time clocks for small businesses readily available, and the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division focusing so heavily on agricultural space investigations, not using an automatic time clock places your business in avoidable peril.