Semafor Technologies LLC in Norcross has agreed to pay 73 employees $741,288 in back wages following an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division (DOL) that found violations of the H-1B visa program, which allows nonimmigrants to work temporarily in the United States. The company specializes in software development, on-site/off-site application outsourcing, infrastructure, consulting and product development services.
The DOL determined that Semafor Technologies engaged in “benching” by failing to pay 54 foreign H-1B guest workers for periods of time during which they were nonproductive because the company did not assign any work. Additionally, five workers were not reimbursed for various H-1B processing fees related to their employment, and 14 were not reimbursed for H-1B processing fees or paid for periods without assigned work.
“The Labor Department is committed to protecting the rights of all workers employed in this country,” said Janet Campbell, director of the division's Atlanta office. “As demonstrated by the resolution of this case, we are using all tools available to remedy violations, promote accountability, and ensure a level playing field for law-abiding employers and legitimate users of the foreign guest worker programs.”
Medical employers and providers should know that, among other requirements, H-1B providers must be paid the required wage rate for all nonproductive time caused by conditions related to employment, such as lack of patients, lack of a license, lack of hospital privileges, or studying for a licensing exam. The Wage and Hour Division is responsible for enforcing H-1B program provisions and the wage protections provided to H-1B workers.
For questions about H-1B employer obligations, you are invited to contact the attorneys at Badmus Law Firm.