SCHAUMBURG, IL – An administrative law judge has ordered a Schaumburg residential and commercial swimming pool company to pay $312,561 in back wages to 26 workers, employed under a federal guest worker visa program, after the U.S. Department of Labor found the employer failed to comply with the H-2B guest worker visa program.
On June 20, 2023, Judge Theodore Annos in Washington D.C. upheld the findings of an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division that Lucero Pool Plaster Inc. violated the H-2B guest worker visa program by failing to pay its H-2B workers for all hours they worked plastering pools in Illinois, Indiana. Iowa and Wisconsin in 2016 and 2017. The employer’s failure to comply with the H-2B guest worker visa program regulations violated the Immigration and Nationality Act.
The judge also affirmed the division’s assessment of $123,814 in penalties for its violations and forbid the company from participating in the H-2B program for a year.
“The court has upheld the Wage and Hour Division’s finding that Lucero Pool Paster Inc. owes these 26 plasterers back wages for failing to pay them their legally required wages,” said Wage and Hour Regional Administrator Michael Lazzeri in Chicago. “Companies participating in non-immigrant visa programs agree to specific terms and conditions, but this employer shamelessly paid these H-2B workers less than the full hourly wages promised when they accepted the work.”
Specifically, division investigators discovered Lucero Pool Plaster violated the H-2B program as follows:
Failing to pay the offered wage.
Placing workers outside the stated area of employment.
Failing to pay workers’ inbound/outbound transportation and subsistence costs.
Not providing the job order information in Spanish, the language commonly understood by employees.
Prohibiting third-party travel agencies from charging fees to workers.
Not complying with document retention requirements.
The H-2B non-immigrant program permits employers to temporarily hire non-immigrants to perform non-agricultural labor or services in the United States. The employment must be of a temporary nature for a limited period of time such as a one-time occurrence, seasonal need, peak load need or intermittent need.
The department’s Office of the Solicitor in Chicago litigated the case.
For more information about the H-2B Program and other laws enforced by the Wage and Hour Division, contact the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, including a search tool to use if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Download the agency’s new Timesheet App for Android devices to ensure hours and pay are accurate.