Month: November 2015

Florida clothing company, Exist Inc., fails to pay workers overtime pay

 In October 2015, employer, Exist, Inc. in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida, wound up paying nearly $240K in back wages to 77 employees following a U.S. Labor Department investigation.

Investigators from the department’s Wage and Hour Division Fort Lauderdale District Office found that Exist Inc. violated the overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act. Specifically, the employer paid 77 employees straight time wages rather than overtime at the required time and one-half when employees work beyond 40 hours in a work week. The employer also failed to keep accurate and complete payroll records.

Whenever goods are produced in violation of the FLSA’s minimum wage, overtime or child labor provisions, the department can petition a judge to restrain those goods from being shipped via interstate commerce. This action is commonly referred to as the “hot goods” provision. If an investigation uncovers evidence that goods were produced in violation of the FLSA, the investigator may advise the employer that the FLSA prohibits the interstate shipment of any goods that were produced in violation of the FLSA and may request that the employer voluntarily refrain from shipment of those goods until the investigation has been concluded.

WHD typically seeks to resolve the issue of compliance with the employer informally. As part of a resolution, WHD may ask the employer or any other entity that receives or ships the goods, to voluntarily refrain from shipping the “hot goods” until legally required wages have been paid and until other remedies or agreements are in place that the Department deems necessary to ensure future compliance with the law.

In this situation, Wage and Hour Division investigators advised the employer that the clothes they had produced were “hot goods.”  After receiving the department’s notice that the goods were “hot,” Exist Inc. voluntarily agreed not to ship the goods produced until the employees were paid back wages. The next day the firm paid $238,534 in back wages to 77 employees and agreed to comply with FLSA in the future.

old adding machineIf you feel that you have not been compensated for the hours you have worked you may call the law office for a FREE strictly confidential consultation about your claim for minimum wage or unpaid overtime wage violations at: (954) 948-8130. Or you can complete the simple form below for submission to us.  Please be advised that by merely submitting this form, no Attorney-Client relationship is formed with the law firm.   You must provide your name,  home or cell phone number, your email address and your zip code in the form.  We look forward to discussing your possible minimum wage and/or overtime pay violations claim We are passionate about defending and enforcing workers’ rights for unpaid wages.

 

 

Silicon Valley worker placement services cheated H-1B visa workers out of $84,000 in wages

 US Department Labor Department issued a one-year debarment for these firms that provided H1-B workers to Apple, Cisco, eBay  

    It is one thing to bring workers from India and other countries to employ as software engineers for renowned Silicon Valley firms, such as eBay Inc., Apple Inc. and Cisco Systems Inc. It’s another thing when you shortchange them and fail to pay the local prevailing wage while they’re here.

The U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour investigators found such shortchanging when they looked into the labor practices of Scopus Consulting Group and Orian Engineers, two worker placement organizations in Sunnyvale. After the parties filed consent findings, federal Administrative Law Judge Stephen R. Henley ordered the two businesses owned by Kishore Kumar to pay 21 workers $84,000 in back wages and $103,000 in fines to the federal government.

“Some of the country’s most cutting-edge, successful organizations benefit from underpaid H-1B workers,” said Susana Blanco, director for the Wage and Hour Division in San Francisco. “H-1B workers must be paid local prevailing wages. We will not allow companies to undercut local wages and hurt U.S. workers and businesses who pay their workers fairly.”

The investigators found that Orian and Scopus Consulting violated the H-1B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act  as follows:

  1. by misrepresenting the prevailing wage level on the Labor Condition Applications required by the act.
  2. The employers also recruited experienced workers, most of whom have master’s degrees, and paid them as entry level employees.

Both firms have been debarred from H-1B program participation for one year. The investigators also cited the companies for failing to post a notice in the workplace about their applications to bring in foreign workers using the H-1B visa program, which would allow U.S. workers to learn about and apply for job openings.

The H-1B program applies to employers seeking to hire nonimmigrant aliens as workers in specialty occupations that require the application of highly specialized knowledge and at least a bachelor’s degree, or its equivalent. The H-1B provisions seek to help employers who cannot obtain needed business skills and abilities from U.S. workers and authorizes temporary employment of qualified individuals who otherwise are not authorized to work in the U.S.

old adding machineIf you feel that you have not been compensated for the hours you have worked you may call the law office for a FREE strictly confidential consultation about your claim for minimum wage or unpaid overtime wage violations at: (954) 948-8130. Or you can complete the simple form below for submission to us.  Please be advised that by merely submitting this form, no Attorney-Client relationship is formed with the law firm.   You must provide your name,  home or cell phone number, your email address and your zip code in the form.  We look forward to discussing your possible minimum wage and/or overtime pay violations claim We are passionate about defending and enforcing workers’ rights for unpaid wages.