$638,000 in Back Wages Recovered in Immigration Case; How Can You Avoid This?

 
Wednesday, December 8, 2010
 

The following is a disaster waiting to happen for employers who do not know, understand and follow the law.  Keep yourself and your employees educated!

Following a consent order obtained by the U.S. Department of Labor, Peri Software Solutions Inc. and its owner, Saravanan Periasamy, have agreed to pay $638,449 in back wages and interest to 67 workers for violating the H-1B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Under the order, Peri Software Solutions Inc. and Periasamy also must pay $126,778 in civil money penalties and interest for failing to provide notice of the filing of labor condition applications at each place where any H-1B worker was to be employed and for filing lawsuits against H-1B workers for early cessation of employment. The company and Periasamy will be debarred from participating in the H-1B program for one year.

"Peri Software not only took advantage of these workers by not properly compensating them, it also violated the part of the law that provides the greatest protection to the American workforce," said Nancy J. Leppink, deputy administrator of the department's Wage and Hour Division. "When companies participating in the H-1B program do not post filed labor condition applications, they clearly undercut American workers who may be qualified for available employment but aren't aware of it."

The H-1B visa program permits employers to temporarily hire foreign workers in professional occupations such as computer programmers, engineers, physicians and teachers. H-1B workers must be paid the same wage rates paid to U.S. workers who perform the same types of work or the prevailing wage rate in the areas of intended employment, whichever is higher. For more information about the requirements of the H1-B program, visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/regs/compliance/FactSheet62/whdfs62.pdf.

The Wage and Hour Division enforces the H-1B wage provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, in addition to other federal laws pertaining to wage payments. For more information call the division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or visit http://www.dol.gov/whd/.

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