Brown fined $1.6 million after government investigation

May 22, 2019 04:22pm
East Coast-based trainer Chad Brown is facing more than $1.6 million in payments following a U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division investigation that found Brown's racing firm did not pay grooms and hotwalkers overtime, among other issues, it was announced Wednesday.

The Department of Labor called Brown's actions "
willful violations of the Fair Labor Standards Act and the labor provisions of the H-2B non-immigrant visa program."

According to a news release, this happened Belmont Park and Saratoga, "among other locations." Brown was also said to have failed to keep payroll records.

The violations apply to 150 employees.

Brown signed a consent judgment filed in 
U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York settling the case.

Per the news release, t
he H-2B program violations resulted from Chad C. Brown Inc.:

 Failing to pay the H-2B employees the wages they were offered;

 Collecting payment from employees for visa costs, which should be paid by the employer;

 Failing to reimburse employees' transportation and subsistence costs for travel from their home countries;

 Misrepresenting to employees the place of employment and  job terms and conditions, such as the availability of free housing;

 Failing to disclose required information in a language understood by the employees; and

 Failing to post a notice of employees' H-2B rights.

In addition to the monetary sanctions, Brown will be required to keep a "compliance officer" to ensure standards are met in the future.

"These legal actions demonstrate the U.S. Department of Labor's commitment to take all steps necessary to ensure employees receive the wages that they have rightfully earned and that employers who violate laws do not gain an unfair advantage over law-abiding competitors," said Regional Solicitor of Labor Jeffrey Rogoff.

Brown is a three-time Eclipse Award winner who has saddled horses that earned in excess of $156 million, according to Equibase. He did not respond to a request for comment.


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