As yet another example of increased enforcement activity in immigration-related contexts, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) obtained a consent order resulting in a New Jersey computer consulting company agreeing to pay $638,449 in back wages and interest to 67 programmer analyst workers. In addition, the company must pay $126,778 in civil penalties and interest for failing to provide notice of the filing of required labor condition applications (LCAs) at each place of employment and for filing lawsuits against the H-1B workers for early cessation of employment. The DOL’s Wage and Hour Division reported the consent order, which also included debarring the employer from filing H-1B petitions for one year, on its website.
While all H-1B employers are encouraged to conduct a self-review of H-1B compliance, computer consulting companies remain “high-risk” targets for H-1B enforcement. H-1B program rules become more complicated and difficult to manage in the context of employers that provide contract personnel, particularly those with itinerant employees who travel to multiple worksites. Please see the DOL’s fact sheet summarizing the requirements on H-1B employers.