Expecting labor help, farmers get inspections instead

Federal inspectors from the U.S. Department of Labor are conducting spot inspections of farms across south Georgia, a week after many farmers complained the agency has failed to properly process visa applications for migrant workers.

“Wage and hour agent teams are in multiple locations across south Georgia today,” Georgia Agriculture Commission Gary Black told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

The agents inspect payroll and personnel records to ensure workers are fairly paid and that the workers are here legally.

The AJC reported May 5 that many farms across the state were expecting to lose millions of dollars as crops died on the vines due to Department of Labor’s backlog on processing visa applications for seasonal migrant workers.

Days later, a bipartisan group of Georgia’s congressional delegation wrote to Labor Secretary Thomas Perez to ask that his agency expedite the applications before Georgia’s top industry suffers even greater losses.

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