A labor contractor based in Adams County denied 165 farm laborers more than $83,000 collectively in overtime pay for cleaning the Gorge Amphitheatre, according to a U.S. Department of Labor investigation.
Some of the employees at Espinoza Contractor LLC, owned by Guillermo Espinoza, worked up to 90 hours a week without receiving overtime pay for their work, according investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division.
“This case is an egregious example of how scofflaws, such as Espinoza, take advantage of some of our economy’s most vulnerable workers,” Thomas Silva, wage and hour division district director in Seattle, said in a Friday news release. The agency will continue to protect worker rights and hold violators accountable, Silva added.
The agency fined Espinoza $61,896 in civil penalties for violating migrant workers’ rights and recovered the $83,298 in back wages.
Investigators learned of the withheld overtime pay, a violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act, as they investigated the contractor for reportedly denying pay to 49 migrant workers, failing to disclose working conditions in writing and inaccurately recording transportation fees deducted from worker’s pay.
The violations also detailed the contractor’s failure to register as a farm labor contractor, properly register its workers and provide workers with safe transportation.
The Seattle Times was unable to reach Espinoza Contractor LLC for comment Friday evening.