Rampant wage theft and employer lawbreaking in industries that employ H-2B workers: At least $1.8 billion stolen from workers in industries with a high prevalence of H-2B workers, fiscal years 2000–2021

Industry Cases Cases with violations Employees involved in violation Employees owed back wages Back wages assessed (2021$) Average back wages owed per employee (2021$) Civil money penalties assessed (2021$)
All seven industries 225,227 180,451 1,835,805 1,666,195 $1,792,259,236 $1,076 $114,791,387
Landscaping services 5,705 4,289 64,734 58,404 $60,088,422 $1,029 $4,833,676
Janitorial services 11,660 9,391 105,604 96,279 $96,808,594 $1,006 $3,289,109
Hotels and motels 22,469 18,501 150,452 140,864 $86,691,426 $615 $8,430,597
Forestry 1,479 1,102 13,089 10,860 $10,781,520 $993 $4,262,217
Food services 108,244 88,765 839,171 752,417 $654,970,169 $870 $64,575,989
Construction 68,012 52,441 591,131 542,034 $847,882,693 $1,564 $20,515,880
Amusement 7,658 5,962 71,624 65,337 $35,036,411 $536 $8,883,919

Notes: Tables include all violations of laws enforced in the selected industries by the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor. Dollar amounts reported in this table have been adjusted for inflation to constant 2021 dollars using the CPI-U-RS. As a result, the dollar amounts presented here may differ from the amounts reported in the source data. Totals may not sum due to rounding.

Source: EPI analysis of U.S. Department of Labor, Wage and Hour Division, “Industries with High Prevalence of H-2B Workers” [data tables for fiscal years 2000–2021].

View the underlying data on epi.org.