By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

People Tech Group, a Redmond, Washington information technology firm that provides technical contract workers to other companies, has been fined $355,000 for violating labor rules pertaining to H-1B high-tech visas.

The U.S. Department of Labor investigated People Tech Group and found that it paid entry-level wages to H-1B computer analysts and computer programmers who performed the work of much more experienced employees and should have received higher prevailing rates. The company also failed to pay workers for time when the company failed to provide work, as the law requires.

Of the $355,000, 12 employees will receive $309,914 and $45,564 will be paid in civil penalties as part of an informal settlement with the DOL.

“The intent of the H-1B foreign labor certification program is to help American companies find the highly skilled talent they need when they can prove that a shortage of U.S. workers exists,” said Wage and Hour Division Acting District Director Carrie Aguilar in Seattle.

If you want to know more information on employer immigration compliance, I recommend you read The I-9 and E-Verify Handbook, a book I co-authored with Greg Siskind, and available at http://www.amazon.com/dp/0997083379.