The U.S. Labor Department has ordered Technologies500, of Iselin, to pay $537,189 in back wages to 36 computer programmers it hired under the H-1B visa program. The software company, also known as Cybersoftec.com, failed to pay the workers prevailing wages from January 2004 to November 2005. The department also levied fines of $162,750.
Advice: If you use H-1B visa holders, be aware that your pay practices probably will come under scrutiny from several sources. First, there is an active underground of disgruntled and underemployed American technical workers who claim that the H-1B visa program amounts to importing cheap labor at their expense. They frequently report suspected violations to the Labor Department and discrimination agencies.
Then, there are the H-1B visa holders themselves. In recent years, attorneys have begun soliciting them as plaintiffs in class-action lawsuits. Law firms assure the employees that their employers cannot retaliate against them for filing lawsuits and suggest they may be owed substantial back wages.