NEW BEDFORD, Mass. (AP) - A company targeted by immigration officials for hiring hundreds of illegal workers faces fines totaling $45,000 for hazardous work conditions, the U.S. Department of Labor said Thursday.
Michael Bianco Inc., a leather goods manufacturer, was cited by the agency's Occupational Safety and Health Administration for lack of protective equipment and inadequate training for handling chemicals and machinery.
Federal authorities arrested 361 workers from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, most of whom were women, during a raid of the factory in March. The company's owner, Francesco Insolia, is charged with conspiring to hire illegal immigrants.
Insolia also faces a lawsuit filed on behalf of both illegal and legal workers who claim the company tried to avoid paying overtime by writing checks from a bogus second company called Front Line Defense.
The company has 15 business days to respond to the proposed fines.
Messages left at the company and at Insolia's home were not immediately returned.