Farmer disciplined for failing to pay foreign workers

GLASGOW, Ky. (AP) — Federal labor officials say a Kentucky farmer has been disciplined for failing to properly pay foreign workers.

The U.S. Department of Labor said Tuesday that Christopher Lee Smith has been barred from applying for certification to request temporary foreign workers under visa program for three years. He also has been fined more than $35,000.

Investigators say Smith, who owns a farm in Glasgow, failed to reimburse workers for transportation and for their visa expenses. Investigators said Smith did not pay workers the required minimum wage and failed to pay them on time.

Investigators found Smith owed $58,820 in back wages to 14 employees.

The H-2A temporary agricultural program allows employers who anticipate a domestic worker shortage to bring non-immigrant foreign workers to the U.S. on a temporary or seasonal basis.