SOL Harvesting, a Haines City company owned by Roberto Cendejas, paid $53,428 in back pay and $2,368 in civil penalties after not giving their H-2A visa workers proper pay, housing or transportation. The Haines City company, started in 2014 by Cendejas, produced 99 vegetable harvesters for Scott Farms in Mount Dora.
The department announcement of the penalties said SOL Harvesting “failed to provide employees copies of their work contracts and failed to reimburse them for inbound travel expenses from their home countries as required by law. In addition, the company failed to reimburse the employees for their visa and border fees within their first workweek. SOL Harvesting LLC also failed to provide required transportation and housing that met minimum safety and health standards.”
H-2A visa workers can be brought in to fill jobs when there’s a shortage of U.S. workers qualified or willing to do the tasks.