J’can workers to get US$38k in back pay from Florida resort

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KINGSTON, Jamaica — By the Seas Resorts, which manages several Panama Beach City resorts and restaurants in Florida, United States has been ordered to pay US$38,513 in back wages to 117 Jamaican H-2B workers and US$12,695 in civil fines following mistreatment on the job.

According to the Miami Herald, the Department of Labor announced the fines last Friday.

The Jamaicans were employed by the company as housekeepers but investigators in the Wage and Hour Division at the Labour Department found that By the Sea didn’t play by the book with their wages.

“The employer violated the H-2B provisions by placing those employees in occupations not listed on the temporary employment certification that they submitted, such as front desk personnel, dishwashers, and bartenders, while paying them as housekeepers,” the investigators said.

The resort also deducted pay for meal breaks even if the workers didn’t take a meal break, the Miami Herald reported.

The department said, “this unpaid and un-recorded time resulted in the employees working more than 40 hours in a workweek,” entitling them to overtime that wasn’t paid.

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