Smartsoft Agrees to $1 Million in Back Wages and Interest for H-1B Worker Violations
August 18, 2010
As Santa Ana employment lawyers, we have been following the recent wage and hour news that Smartsoft International Inc., a Georgia-based computer consulting company will pay around $1 million in back wages to nonimmigrant, or foreign workers who were employed on a temporary basis with the company under the H-1B visa program.
The H-1B employment program reportedly allows employers to hire foreign, or nonimmigrant workers in occupations that are specialized. The H-1B program establishes standards to protect U.S. workers who are employed in similar jobs, or who have similar qualifications, from being affected in an adverse way by the employment of foreign workers. Employers are required to report to the Labor Department that they will compensate H-1B nonimmigrant workers with wage payment that is at least equal to the actual wages paid to other U.S. employees with similar job qualifications and experience, or to the prevailing wages paid in the geographic location of employment--whichever compensation is greater.
According the Wage and Hour Division of the U.S. Department of Labor, Smartsoft violated the H-1B program laws by neglecting to pay some employees any wages at the beginning of their employment, and only paid the employees on a part-time basis, even though they were hired under a full-time agreement. The employees were also reportedly paid less than the prevailing wages in the locations in which they worked and the company agreed to pay back wages and interest to the 135 nonimmigrant workers.
Hilda L. Solis, U.S. Secretary of Labor claimed that the resolution of this case supports the Labor Department's strong commitment to enforce this country's wage and hour laws that protect all workers that are involved in the H-1B program.
US Labor Department Obtains Nearly $1 Million in Back Wages and Interest for 135 H-1B Workers of Smartsoft International, DOL News Release, August 17, 2010
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