Indian-American IT company fined for violating H-1B salary requirements
On Wednesday, an Indian-American IT company was asked to pay a fine of $173,044 in wages to 12 of its foreign employees, most of them Indian, for violating the H-1B visa programme's salary requirements. The company, Cloudwick Technologies Inc., had severely underpaid several of its US-based foreign employees and made illegal deductions from salaries. Stricter compliance mechanisms have been put in place. Here's more.
A bit about Cloudwick Technologies
Cloudwick Technologies, owned by Indian-American Mani Chhabra, is a "leading provider of bimodal digital business services and solutions to the Global 1000" based out of Newark, California. According to the company, its clients include the likes of JP Morgan, Bank of America, Visa, Walmart etc.
Cloudwick was paying Indian H-1B employees 10% of promised salary
Notably, the crackdown on the company comes a day after the world celebrated International Labor Day (May Day). Investigations carried out by US Department of Labor's Wage and Hour Division revealed that Cloudwick was paying some H-1B employees from India around $800 per month, despite having promised monthly salaries of up to $8,300. This was in clear violation of H-1B wage levels.
Labour violations against Americans and foreigners won't be taken lightly
"The resolution of this case demonstrates our commitment to safeguard American jobs, level the playing field for law-abiding employers, and protect guest workers from being paid less than they are legally owed," said Susan Blanco from the US labor department's Wage and Hour Division.
New compliance mechanisms to minimize fraud
In addition of being made to pay for the recovery of wages, Cloudwick was also made to sign an enhanced compliance agreement wherein an independent third-party will monitor it to ensure compliance. Additionally, the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) has established a dedicated email address for both American and other foreign H-1B workers to submit tips and other relevant information about H-1B fraud.