Wage and Hour Division (WHD)
U.S. Department of Labor
MONTGOMERY, Ala. -- SVK Systems Inc. in Montgomery, has paid $257,635 in back wages to 21 nonimmigrant employees hired under the H-1B visa program, from India, for information technology jobs in 17 states, following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division.
Investigators found that the employer failed to pay the H-1B workers when they were required to report to the Montgomery office for training. There were also instances in which the employer did not pay the required prevailing wage rate for some hours worked.
The employees worked in the following locations: New York, N.Y.; Omaha, Neb.; Chapel Hill, N.C.; St. Louis and Chesterfield, Mo.; St. Paul and Hopkins, Minn.; Thurmont, Rockville, Owings Mills and Silver Spring, Md.; Atlanta and Alpharetta, Ga.; Franklin Lakes and Newark, N.J.; Montgomery, Ala.; Richmond, Va.; Irving, Houston and Austin, Texas; North Wales, Pa.; Portland, Ore.; Decatur, Ill.; Jacksonville, Fla.; North Haven, Conn.; and San Jose and Sacramento, Calif.
“The Labor Department is responsible for enforcing some of our nation’s most comprehensive federal laws, including provisions of certain temporary worker programs such as H-1B,” said Kenneth Stripling, director of the Wage and Hour Division’s Birmingham District Office. “The Wage and Hour Division vigorously enforces H-1B visa rules to protect both the rights of U.S. citizens and the temporary employees in this program. Employers should not unduly benefit from hiring H-1B workers to fill jobs instead of hiring U.S. workers.”
As established under the Immigration and Nationality Act, the H-1B program is available to employers when they cannot obtain needed business skills and abilities for specialty occupations from the U.S. workforce by authorizing the temporary employment of qualified individuals who are not otherwise authorized to work in the U.S. The H-1B regulations establish standards to protect the H-1B workers as well as similarly employed U.S. workers from being adversely affected by the employment of nonimmigrant workers. Employers must attest to the Labor Department that they will pay wages to the H-1B workers at least equal to the wages paid to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment – whichever is greater.
SVK provides systems integration services, outsourced software development and IT staffing to other companies. SVK has agreed to future compliance with H-1B rules and regulations.
This investigation was conducted by the Wage and Hour Division’s Birmingham District Office. For more information about federal labor laws, call the division’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its Birmingham office at 205-397-7100. Information is also available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.
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