Yesterday the Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division announced that it had reached a settlement with Smartsoft International, a large SAP system implementer headquartered outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The company has over 650 employees with offices in the US, India, Australia, Germany, Mexico, and Qatar.
The Department of Labor cited violations of H-1B program requirements including failure of the company to pay H-1B workers at the beginning of their employment, paying on a part-time basis, and paying less than the prevailing wage for the geographic location where the worker was stationed. DOL Press Release
Smartsoft Responds In a press release the company denied all wrong-doing and stated that the settlement was reached because it was “the most productive way to move forward.” The company also stated that the investigation was not instigated by any company employee or former employee, but was started by the Department of Labor.
In summing up the nature of the action, the company stated that, “Ultimately, the dispute with the DOL was a result of differing interpretations of highly complex laws and regulations associated with the employment of workers holding H-1B visas.”
Wake up Call The Smartsoft case is a big wake-up call for all companies who have H-1B workers on staff. Public Access Files should be religiously kept and regularly audited to ensure that the employer is doing everything possible to comply with the H-1B wage regulations. H-1B employees’ transfers from one location to another must be tracked and planned in order to ensure compliance with prevailing wage and Labor Condition Application requirements. H-1B workers must be paid on the regular company schedule even before their social security number is issued.
For more information on H-1B record keeping and Public Access File audits, give me a call. 215 979 1940.