Busted for providing substandard housing to vegetable field workers in Monterey County in 2017, a California farm labor contractor will pay $162,082 in Department of Labor penalties.
After an investigation by the department’s Wage and Hour Division, Soledad, Calif.-based Future Ag Management Inc. will pay the sum to resolve Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act violations, according to a news release.
Department of Labor investigators said the contractor provided housing with “illegal and substandard conditions” to agricultural workers during lettuce and cauliflower harvests in Monterey County during the summer of 2017.
According to the release, the contractor housed 22 employees in facilities that didn’t meet minimum space requirements. The unit had only one shower and sink for 22 employees, fewer than required by law. Bathroom facilities were unsanitary and infested with insects, according to the release, and drinking and washing water was also found to be unsafe for consumption.
“The living conditions we found in this investigation can only be described as inhumane,” Susana Blanco, Wage and Hour Division district director in San Francisco, said in the release. “The Department of Labor remains committed to ensuring the wages and welfare of agricultural workers through our enforcement efforts, and through our ongoing educational efforts for employers in this industry.”