Un juez federal ha ordenado a un contratista de construcción compensar a 43 trabajadores mexicanos con $288K y también pagar $63K en multas por violar el programa H-2A.

A federal judge has upheld the conclusion of the U.S. Department of Labor that a Nebraska construction company operating in Southern California blatantly and deliberately discriminated against American workers by bringing in Mexican workers under false pretenses, paying them less, and putting their safety and health at risk in substandard housing conditions. The Office of Administrative Law Judges ordered Randy and Kary Christo, owners and operators of R&R Christo Construction LLC in Fremont, to pay $288,719 in wages to 43 agricultural workers and $63,813 in fines after the department’s Wage and Hour Division confirmed that they had deliberately misrepresented the terms of their H-2A visa application by falsely indicating that the foreign workers would be performing agricultural work when they were actually employed for construction work at a poultry operation in San Jacinto.

The judge found that the employer benefited from abusing and exploiting vulnerable and unsuspecting H-2A workers. By misrepresenting the nature of the work, the employer discriminated against American construction workers. “R&R Christo Construction discriminated against American construction workers and failed to comply with legal requirements for employing foreign agricultural workers,” said Rafael Valles, district sub-director of the Wage and Hour Division in West Covina, California. “The blatant disregard for requirements and the abuse of dozens of vulnerable workers from Mexico is inexcusable.” The division became aware of the situation after a referral from Cal/OSHA prompted an investigation into injuries suffered by an H-2A worker after falling from a roof. Federal investigators discovered that the injured worker was one of many employees of R&R Christo Construction who were illegally “loaned” to roofing subcontractors in order to make additional profits. In addition to the H-2A violations, the division determined that R&R Christo Construction denied employees overtime pay for work performed over 40 hours in a workweek. On average, investigators found that most R&R employees worked up to 60 hours per week. Under California law, employers must pay construction workers overtime rates for hours worked over eight per day and 40 per workweek. Employers cannot pay H-2A workers less than what is required by all applicable laws.

Investigators also found that Randy and Kary Christo housed workers in substandard housing less than 500 feet from livestock and in overcrowded conditions with up to 11 beds in one room. This blog post has been reformatted to improve readability and flow.  

Share This Article
Leave a comment