A Leflore County catfish business has paid $30,963 in back wages to 38 employees after federal authorities found that it was not adequately paying its migrant workers.

Tackett Fish Farms was found to have violated labor provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s H-2A visa program after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.

This program, which allows lawful admission of temporary, nonimmigrant workers to perform agricultural, temporary or seasonal services, provides a list of applicable laws, regulations and guidelines in terms of pay, housing and other provisions.

The Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor determined that the Schlater-based fish farm failed to reimburse these workers for expenses they incurred while traveling to the farm from their home countries, as required by law.

The department also found the employer failed to include some required information on employees’ earning statements.

“Agricultural employers that bring in temporary guest workers on H-2A visas must comply with all the program’s requirements,” said Wage and Hour Division Regional Administrator Juan Coria in a statement.

“Our work continues to safeguard American jobs and hold employers that violate the law accountable. We offer a wealth of compliance information readily available to assist employers and farm labor contractors in understanding their obligations under the law.”

When contacted late Friday afternoon, an employee at Tackett Fish Farms said that those who could speak on behalf of the company had left for the day.

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