The Labor Department has ordered a Southfield, Michigan, firm that places computer
professionals at locations throughout the United States to pay $4,500,503 in
back wages to 232 non-immigrant computer professionals and $1,222,000 in fines
for immigration-law violations the department says it found during an investigation.
The department alleges that Computech Inc. brought non-immigrant H-1B workers
into the U.S., but failed to pay them the required wage rate in the areas where
they were employed. Investigators also say that Computech frequently paid nothing
at all to the H-1B workers when there were no work assignments available.
The Labor Department ordered that the $4.5 million in back wages be paid to
232 workers. If the workers cannot be located, the wages are to be paid into
the U.S. Treasury.
The $1,222,000 in fines were assessed for alleged "willful" violations
of the wage requirements of the H-1B visa program and for alleged inaccurate
information on the H-1B application materials submitted by the company. The
company must pay the back wages and fines within 15 days unless it files a request
for a formal hearing before a Department of Labor administrative law judge.
The H-1B visa program allows foreign workers to enter and work temporarily
in the United States in professional level jobs such as computer programmers,
engineers, medical doctors, and teachers. H-1B workers must be paid either the
actual wage paid by the employer to others for the same work or the prevailing
wage paid to U.S. workers for that job in the local area, whichever is higher.