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Bushel Boy to pay nearly $200K in back-wages, damages for failing to pay 94 workers overtime wages

Lea este comunicado de prensa en Español.

The Minnesota Department of Labor and Industry (DLI) found Bushel Boy LLP, a tomato grower from Owatonna, Minnesota, and Oro Valley Ag Services LLC, a farm labor contractor registered in Arizona, did not pay their employees overtime wages, in violation of the Minnesota Fair Labor Standards Act.

DLI’s investigation of Bushel Boy and Oro Valley found their employees were not paid overtime wages, even though they consistently worked more than 48 hours a week during DLI’s audit period of Aug. 12, 2020, to Aug. 12, 2022.

“Employers in Minnesota are legally responsible for paying agricultural workers overtime wages if they work more than 48 hours in a workweek, with limited exceptions” said DLI Commissioner Nicole Blissenbach. “The department appreciates Bushel Boy’s willingness to quickly resolve this matter by agreeing to pay back wages and liquidated damages to the impacted employees.”

Bushel Boy recently entered into a consent order with DLI and agreed to pay $97,242.84 in back-wages and an additional $97,242.84 in liquidated damages for 94 workers. DLI also assessed a $47,000 penalty that will be stayed if Bushel Boy refrains from violating certain labor laws within three years of the consent order.

Agricultural workers have been entitled to overtime wages under Minnesota law since 1974. Recently, other states, such as California, Oregon and Washington, have passed laws requiring overtime wages for agricultural workers.

In July 2023, Minnesota updated a law that requires employers to provide recruited migrant agricultural workers certain written information and 70 hours of guaranteed biweekly pay. Visit dli.mn.gov/agriculture to learn more about this law and other workplace rights and responsibilities in the agricultural industry.

Assistance available

DLI's Labor Standards Division assists workers and employers, regardless of the languages they speak. Staff members speak multiple languages and can also use free interpreter services for people with limited English proficiency. Contact Labor Standards at 651-284-5075 or dli.laborstandards@state.mn.us for assistance.

 

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