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Department of Labor: $16,127 recovered from gin

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Cotton (copy)

Cotton is planted in South Carolina the first week in May.

The U.S. Department of Labor says it recovered $16,127 from a Cope cotton gin.

The department claims Vallentines Gin Inc. owed the money for back wages and/or penalties, according to a Jan. 10 press release.

An attempt to reach Vallentines Gin for comment was unsuccessful.

The U.S. Department of Labor says it found eight out of 10 cotton gin employers it investigated in the Southeast violated the Fair Labor Standards Act, Migrant and Seasonal Agricultural Worker Protection Act, or provisions of the H-2A visa program.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division identified the violations between November 2019 and March 2021 in the Southeast.

It recovered a total of $282,626 in back wages and $10,785 in liquidated damages for 620 workers. The division also assessed $152,539 in civil money penalties to 37 employers.

The most common violations cited include:

Failure to pay proper overtime and maintain accurate records as required by the FLSA.

Failure to disclose actual terms and conditions and provide wage statements to workers.

Failure to ensure housing safety and health and provide terms and conditions of occupancy as required by MSPA and the H-2A visa program.

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