Request Legal Help Now - Free


California Labor Contractor to Pay Farmworkers Damages and Penalties

. By

A California court has ordered a labor contractor to pay penalties and damages to seasonal farmworkers, along with travel and subsistence costs.

San Francisco, CAIt doesn’t pay to withhold final paychecks and travel expenses, as a Salinas labor contractor knows. A. Oseguera Company owners have been ordered by the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California to pay hundreds of U.S. farmworkers and H-2A farmworkers almost $500,000 in damages and penalties for California labor law violations.

Antonio Oseguera and Hilda Oseguera Garibay have been ordered to pay $410,606 in liquidated damages and $41,351 in travel and subsistence costs to 542 affected workers. As well, their company must pay $8,541 in civil money penalties for their violations and they have 150 days to pay, according to the DOL.

Oseguera Company Violations

Investigators with the DOL’s Wage and Hour Division said that the company’s missed payroll led to violations of the minimum wage provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act, violations of the Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, and Immigration and Nationality Act.

The Court for the Northern District of California ruled that the company violated federal law by:
  • Not paying workers their required rate of pay
  • Violating the H-2A program requirements by not paying transportation and subsistence costs
  • Not keeping accurate payment records
  • Failing to Satisfy the job order requirements

H-2A Agricultural Program Workers

Prior to the judgment, the company was ordered to pay nearly a million dollars in back wages to its U.S. workers and workers hired under the H-2A temporary agricultural program. If A. Oseguera violates labor laws again, it will be automatically barred from the H-2A program for three years. “For years, Antonio Oseguera and his company have ignored their obligations under the H-2A temporary agricultural worker program,” said Regional Solicitor Marc Pilotin in San Francisco, according to the U.S. Department of Labor news release. “The Solicitor’s Office will take every legal step necessary to protect the safety, well-being and wages of temporary guest workers. These steps may include seeking to use the power of a federal court to make employers to comply with the law and prevent them from hiring H-2A program workers.”

Further, the judgment also requires A. Oseguera to hire a full-time monitor to oversee their H-2A and MSPA operations, significantly increase the sizes of their surety bonds and requires supervisors, foremen and payroll personnel to attend four trainings on the FLSA, MSPA and INA in the next two years. 

Following up with the investigation, local news station KSBW contacted Alberto Raymond, Dept. of Labor assistant district director. "The process takes a while, there's the fact-finding, records, interviews and there's the legal process which in this case there was a consent judgement filed in district court. We're very pleased with the outcome,” said Raymond. And Lauro Barajas, United Farmworkers regional director, said, “Without farmworkers, we don't have our lunch our breakfast and our dinner…The issue is when the workers are not raising their voices and they allow the companies to do it year after year month after month. Not only one company or two but a lot of companies could be, could be doing the same.”

KSBW also reached out to Antonio Oseguera and Hilda Oseguera Garibay, who said they would not provide a statement at this time.

A. Oseguera Company Inc. is an H-2A farm labor contractor that employs workers to harvest crops seasonally across California’s Central Coast, in Monterey, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz and San Benito counties.


California Labor Law Legal Help

If you or a loved one have suffered losses in this case, please click the link below and your complaint will be sent to an employment law lawyer who may evaluate your California Labor Law claim at no cost or obligation.


Please read our comment guidelines before posting.

Note: Your name will be published with your comment.

Your email will only be used if a response is needed.

Are you the defendant or a subject matter expert on this topic with an opposing viewpoint? We'd love to hear your comments here as well, or if you'd like to contact us for an interview please submit your details here.

Click to learn more about

Request Legal Help Now! - Free