DOL Notice on Immigration Law Violations



Filename: ESA94.07

CONTACT: Cheryl Palumbo/Bob Cuccia
OFFICE: 202/219-8743
Mon., Jan. 10, 1994


Complete Business Solutions, Inc. (CBSI), Farmington Hills, Mich., and Digital Equipment Corp., Boston, Mass., have settled with the U.S. Department of Labor for alleged immigration law violations. CBSI has agreed to pay $45,000 in civil money penalties (CMPs); Digital has agreed to pay $19,000 in CMPs and $26,360 in back wages to 24 employees; and, both have agreed to periods of nonparticipation in the immigration program that was violated.

According to the 1990 amendments of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) may issue H-1B visas allowing foreign workers in certain specialty occupations to enter and work temporarily in the U.S. Such occupations include computer programmers, engineers, teachers, medical doctors and physical therapists.

Employers must apply for permission to petition for the admittance and employment of H-1B workers and, among other things, must certify that they will pay them at least the prevailing wage rate for the geographical area. The Labor Department's Employment and Training Administration processes the applications; INS issues the visas; and, the Wage and Hour Division enforces the employment conditions of H-1B visa-holders.

Labor Secretary Robert B. Reich said, "These requirements are designed to protect the wages and working conditions of U.S. workers by ensuring that employers of H-1B workers gain no economic advantage from using temporary foreign workers instead of U.S. workers. To this end, we have proposed revised rules to strengthen the labor standards protection under the H-1B program."

Complete Business Solutions, Inc. (CBSI)

In a 1993 investigation of CBSI, the Wage and Hour Division uncovered violations of INA's H-1B provisions affecting about 90 employees of the company. Besides paying $45,000 in civil money penalties, CBSI has agreed not to participate in the H-1B program for nearly five months.

CBSI also agreed to include in all "labor condition applications" (LCAs) the applicant's job classification and intended work site. CBSI must post notices informing their employees that they may review the LCAs.

CBSI also will increase the number of domestic workers for its 1994 training program by 25 more than participated in its 1993 training program.

Digital Equipment Corporation

In a 1993 investigation of Digital's H-1B program, the Wage and Hour Division found that Digital underpaid 24 H-1B computer programmers. Besides $19,000 in CMPs, Digital agreed to pay $26,360 in back wages to the underpaid workers and adjust their salaries to the required wage. Digital also will document in a public access file the system used to establish each H-1B worker's salary.

Additionally, Digital has agreed not to participate in the H-1B program for three months.

Wage and Hour Administrator Maria Echaveste, in commenting on the two settlements, said, "The H-1B program serves to meet the needs of America's employers while protecting the wages and working conditions of America's workers. We are committed to administering the program in a way that satisfies both goals, but every employer who uses the H-1B program should know we will enforce this law vigorously."

Part of the department's Employment Standards Administra- tion, the Wage and Hour Division enforces, among several other labor laws, the H-1B provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

Cite as AILA Doc. No. 01083067.