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January 30, 2018

Ogunquit bakery fined for higher wages for foreign workers

Bread and Roses Bakery Inc. in Ogunquit reached an agreement with the U.S. Department of Labor to pay $73,115 in back wages and $21,052 in penalties for advertising job openings at low pay rates and then paying foreign workers more.

The Portland Press Herald reported that, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, the bakery broke rules when it advertised jobs for counter attendants that would pay $8.79 to $9.09 an hour, then paid foreign workers $10 to $13 an hour. The DOL said American workers might have taken the jobs if the actual rates had been properly advertised.

The Labor Department also said the bakery used foreign workers as bakers, not counter attendants, failed to pay the prevailing wage to nine employees, and broke wage laws by paying 45 employees straight time rather than overtime, failed to reimburse foreign workers for visa expenses, violated hours of work restrictions for a minor employee and failed to maintain accurate hours-of-work records.

Bakery owner Mary Breen said in a statement that her business sometimes has trouble finding seasonal workers and it worked with an employment agency for a short period to bring in foreign workers on the temporary visas.

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