BROKEN BOW, Neb. (AP) â€” Federal regulators say a central Nebraska feedlot underpaid dozens of employees and violated a program that hires workers from outside the United States.
The Labor Department announced Wednesday that Adams Land & Cattle Co. will pay more than $127,000 in back wages to nearly 70 employees. It will also pay more than $100,000 in penalties for violations under the H-2A program.
The voluntary H-2A program allows employers to hire and bring foreign workers to the U.S. for temporary or seasonal work when there is a shortage of domestic employees.
The department says the Broken Bow company failed to pay the required wage rate to employees. They're also accused of rejecting U.S. applicants and paying U.S. employees less than H-2A workers.
The Adams Land & Cattle Co. corporate office in Broken Bow has released the following statement regarding the incident:
"Our company has significant cattle feeding operations in Nebraska which require a sizable workforce. During our peak seasons, our need for workers has historically exceeded local availability. In an effort to fill this need, we utilized a federal program to secure temporary workers during these exceptionally busy periods. This program is incredibly complex, and we made every effort to comply with applicable requirements. Despite our best faith efforts to comply, the Department of Labor alleged that the demanding standards of the program were not fully satisfied. Although we do not agree with this assessment, we reached an agreement with the Department of Labor several months ago and ceased our participation in this program over a year ago."