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Business and Economy

Backyard Farms Fined $337,000 For Labor Law Violations

North Country Greenhouses
Robert F. Bukaty
/
AP file
In this Jan. 29, 2007, file photo, ripe tomatoes await harvesting at the Backyard Farms greenhouse in Madison, Maine.

The U.S. Department of Labor has ordered a Maine tomato grower to pay more than $337,000 penalties and back wages for violating federal labor laws.

The department says Backyard Farms of Madison violated the federal H-2A visa program when it dismissed domestic workers and replaced them with foreign workers. It also says the farm failed to provide workers with copies of work contracts, and paid U.S. workers in similar jobs less than what it paid foreign H-2A workers.

The DOL has ordered the company to pay more than $245,000 in back wages to 117 employees following the violations, as well as about $92,000 in penalties.