Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
TEANECK, N.J. -- Cognizant Technology Solutions has agreed to pay $509,607 in back wages to 67 non-immigrant workers after a U.S. Department of Labor investigation found the company in violation of the H-1B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. The Teaneck-based company provides information technology and business process outsourcing services worldwide.
An investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division found that the company violated the law when it failed to pay computer professionals hired under the H-1B program the proper wages, failed to offer all H-1B workers equal benefits or eligibility for equal benefits, and failed to maintain required records.
After the Wage and Hour Division explained the law's requirements, the employer agreed to future compliance and to pay all back wages.
"Cognizant Technology Solutions has taken immediate steps to correct all identified violations and ensure future compliance," said Joseph Petrecca, director of the Wage and Hour Division's Northern New Jersey District Office. "This level of cooperation sets a standard for others in the industry."
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 at least the same wage rates as are paid to U.S. workers who perform the same types of work or the prevailing wages in the areas of intended employment.
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 about the H-1B program, visit the Labor Department's Web site at http://www.dol.gov/whd/immigration/h1b.htm or call the department's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243).
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