By Matthew YglesiasThe Senate Judiciary Committee voted Tuesday to approve a bill that would impose fines and penalties on any agricultural company that pays illegal wages to farmworkers, but only if the company is located in the United States.
The Senate voted 51-46 to approve the Fair Labor Standards Act, which would impose a $1,000 fine and a maximum penalty of $1 million for any employer that pays an illegal wage.
The bill is a compromise between the two major parties.
The House is expected to follow suit.
The Senate bill would require an employer to provide a written statement of intent, as well as pay the employer $1 for every day it pays an unpaid worker.
The law would also require any company that paid a worker more than $10 an hour to pay back the worker the difference.
The bill also includes language that would require the government to enforce the law if it discovers that an employer has paid illegal wages.
The Farm Labor Protection Act would apply to farms, groves, and other operations where employees are paid less than minimum wage or less than the federal minimum wage.
It would also apply to any business that employs employees who are below the federal federal minimum and who work at least 10 hours per week.
The farm labor bill would extend protections to all farm labor, including those who work in agriculture, including seasonal farm laborers, migrant farm laborers and farm technicians.
The Labor Department’s Wage and Hour Division is currently investigating whether the company paid a farmworker more than the legal wage.
The proposed law, which passed the Senate with a vote of 45-0, passed with bipartisan support.
The Farm Labor Committee’s Chairman, Sen. Chuck Grassley, Iowa Republican, introduced a companion bill in the House.
The new legislation would make it illegal to pay farmworkers less than federal minimum wages or overtime protections.
A federal judge in Kentucky has blocked a lawsuit challenging a law in Indiana that requires employers to pay at least $9.25 an hour.
The judge, Judge Robert E. Wysock, has ordered the Department of Labor to file a final order on the case.
The U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) has estimated that $13 billion of the $15 billion in U.K. crop subsidies will be wasted over the next five years because farmers won’t produce enough food.