By: Bruce E. Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

After an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD) found violations of the labor provisions of the H-1B visa program, Populus Group, based in Troy, Michigan, will pay $1,145,256 in back wages to 594 employees. WHD investigators found the employment services company failed to pay H-1B employees required wages when worksites were shut down for holidays. In addition to paying the back wages, Populus Group will review past and current payroll records to ensure compliance with program requirements.

The H-1B visa program permits American employers to employ nonimmigrants to work temporarily in specialized occupations in the U.S when they cannot otherwise obtain needed business skills and abilities from the U.S. workforce. The law establishes certain standards in order to protect similarly employed U.S. workers from being adversely affected by the employment of the nonimmigrant workers, as well as to protect the H-1B nonimmigrant workers.

If you want to know more information on issues related to 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