US Department of Labor investigation finds Silicon Valley technology employer owed more than $40,000 to foreign workers
Investigation finds employer paid as little as $1.21 per hour in Indian rupees to employees
SAN JOSE, Calif. A Silicon Valley-area technology employer paid as little as $1.21 per hour in Indian rupees to employees brought in temporarily from India to work at the company's U.S. headquarters. An investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division found that Electronics for Imaging, doing business as EFI, failed to pay minimum wage and overtime compensation to several employees. Some of the employees worked as many as 122 hours per week.
"It is unacceptable to have employees working around-the-clock, over 100 hours per week, for such substandard wages," said Susana Blanco, district director for the Wage and Hour Division in San Francisco. "Business owners need to understand that when they bring employees here to the United States to work, they must pay them in accordance with U.S. labor laws. The Wage and Hour Division is committed to vigorous enforcement of all applicable laws and will not tolerate the exploitation of any worker."
Investigators from the division's San Jose Area Office learned that the technicians were flown in from the employer's office in Bangalore, India, to assist with the installation of the company's network and server during the company headquarters move from Foster City to Fremont in late 2013.
Because of the investigation, EFI has paid a total of $40,156 in back wages and liquidated damages to eight employees for up to two months of work. The company also paid $3,520 in penalties because of the willful nature of the violations.
EFI, a publicly traded corporation with office locations worldwide, designs and builds digital printers and creates software applications for printing businesses. The company was founded in San Francisco in 1988.
The FLSA requires that covered employees be paid at least a minimum wage of $7.25 for all hours worked, plus time and one-half their regular rates, including commissions, bonuses and incentive pay, for hours worked beyond 40 per week. Employers also must maintain accurate time and payroll records.
For more information about federal wage laws, call the Wage and Hour Division's toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) or its San Jose Area Office at 408-291-7730. Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd/.