VINELAND – A local company that provides services for produce growers and businesses nationwide must pay almost $500,000 in back wages and damages to more than 1,700 workers, according to federal officials.

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Officials with the U.S. Department of Labor said today that Lucca Freezer & Cold Storage never paid all the workers they obtained through a temporary employment agency for all the hours they worked.

Labor department officials said the company agreed to pay the money after an investigation into the company’s payroll and employment practices.

The investigation also included interviews with employees in both English and Spanish to help determine whether the company was complying with all labor regulations, the officials said.

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