Walmart seafood supplier fined $250,000 for violations

November 29, 2013, 4:45 pm

C.J.’s Seafood, which supplies retailers such as Walmart, is being fined almost $250,000 for safety and wage violations, reports Human Resources Journal.

The US firm is being fined by both the department of labor’s (DOL) occupational safety and health administration (OSHA) and the DOL’s wage and hour division (WHD).

The company, in Breaux Bridge, LA, was cited for 11 safety violations, failing to pay minimum wage and overtime to 73 employees and not complying with provisions of the H-2B temporary foreign worker visa program.

The OSHA’s Baton Rouge area office investigated the company’s Breaux Bridge facility, where seafood is peeled and boiled.

Serious violations, which could result in death or serious physical harm from a hazard of which the employer was aware or should have been, included: the building not equipped with fire extinguishers, exit signs or emergency eyewash stations; unlabeled electrical breakers; exposed electrical outlets; a blocked exit; temporary wiring used in lieu of permanent wiring; and the employer having neither a hazard communications program nor material safety data sheets for employees to note workplace hazards. The penalties totaled $32,200.

Meanwhile, the WHD’s New Orleans district office investigation found C.J.’s Seafood in violation of the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA).

According to the WHD, the company paid employees “straight time” instead of overtime for more than 40 hours in a workweek; made illegal deductions from workers’ wages for items required by their jobs, including gloves, hairnets and aprons; and failed to maintain records of the hours employees worked.

The H-2B provisions violation was cited for the company “misrepresenting” its temporary need for foreign workers, such as the dates and number of workers needed, and not paying the required wage rate.

Read the full story here.

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