A Mexican national working in Kansas and Missouri under a federal H-2B temporary foreign worker visa has filed a proposed class action lawsuit against his employer for more than a decade, Hermes Landscaping, Inc., that seeks to recover allegedly unpaid overtime wages. The complaint says that the plaintiff was paid straight time for working as many as 68 hours in a single week, and was sometimes not compensated at all for hours worked.
The case also claims the plaintiff is owed non-recouped expenses that he spent from 2012 through 2015 to the benefit of his employer, funds that included an annual $100 recruitment fee paid to a Mexican recruiter and fees for the processing of his visa. To this point, the case touches on an alleged pattern in which the defendant seems to have specifically targeted H-2B workers.
“Like [the plaintiff], these workers were never paid overtime, were not paid for all of the hours that they worked, and incurred unreimbursed expenses, including recruitment and visa-processing fees and travel expenses,” the lawsuit alleges. “All told, Hermes significantly underpaid the hundreds of H-2B workers who did landscaping work for the company in Missouri and Kansas over many years.”