Ajilon Consulting, based in Towson, Maryland, has agreed to pay $466,483 in
back wages to 202 temporary foreign workers employed as computer specialists
after Department of Labor investigators said the company violated federal rules
by requiring workers to reimburse the company for paying their visa application
The Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division in Detroit conducted an investigation
of an Ajilon Consulting branch office in Southfield, Michigan, and says it found
that H-1B non-immigrant workers were required to reimburse the company for paying
their visa application fees. The regulations that implement the H1-B provisions
of the Immigration and Nationality Act require that the employer, and not the
employees, pay these fees.
The department says Ajilon Consulting cooperated fully in the investigation
and agreed to conduct a self-audit under the Labor Department's supervision.
The company agreed to pay all of the back wages by November 2004 and agreed
to comply with the H-1B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act in
the future. The H-1B workers were employed in 26 states.
The H-1B visa program provides an avenue for U.S. employers to temporarily
employ foreign workers in high skilled jobs such as computer programmers, engineers,
and medical doctors. The law requires companies to pay temporary foreign workers
the same wage rates as similarly employed U.S. workers, so as not to adversely
affect U.S. workers.