U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Wage and Hour Division (WHD) has announced that following an investigation by the WHD that found violations of the H-1B visa program, Semafor Technologies LLC in Norcross, Georgia, has agreed to pay 73 employees $741,288 in back wages. DOL has reported that an investigation conducted by the WHD’s Atlanta District Office determined that Semafor Technologies failed to pay 54 foreign H-1B guest workers for periods of time during which they were nonproductive because the company did not assign any work. Additionally, five workers were not reimbursed for various processing fees related to their employment, and 14 were not reimbursed for processing fees or paid for periods without assigned work.
DOL has also emphasized that among other requirements to be complied with by employers, H-1B workers must be paid the required wage rate for all nonproductive time caused by conditions related to employment, such as lack of assigned work, lack of a permit or studying for a licensing exam.
Such occurrences reiterate that it is essential for employers to establish procedures to ensure compliance with all applicable provisions of H-1B program, to safeguard themselves against any harsh consequences, including payment of back wages, and/or DOL penalties. Contact VisaPro if you have any queries relating to employer obligations or if would like to discuss the compliance issues specific to your company.