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By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law PLLC
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) of the Department of Labor (DOL) has ordered Medical Dynamic Systems Inc to pay back pay to a H-1B worker of more than $59,000 in fees and back wages for violating the H-1B visa laws. The ALJ said the health care staffing company must pay Philippine national Vicente D. DeDios the $3,600 he unlawfully paid in connection with his H-1B visa processing and an additional $55,587 in back wages.
DeDios alleged Medical Dynamic Systems agreed to sponsor him for a nurse manager position at $37.06 per hour but only gave him 24 hours of work after he arrived in the U.S. He also alleged it unlawfully collected H-1B filing fees (Employers must pay the H-1B filing fees).
The company argued the complaint to DOL was untimely. However, the ALJ rejected this argument and found DeDios filed his complaint “well within” the labor condition application (LCA) employment authorization period. Additionally, the ALJ found Medical Dynamic Systems failed to raise the timeliness argument at the agency hearing, and the record contained no definitive evidence of when the complaint was filed.
Medical Dynamic also argued that it was only liable for five days that DeDios was “available to work,” because on the other days he failed to respond to phone calls and emails and did not show up for interviews. ALJ rejected this argument and found the company did not meet its burden in showing that DeDios was in non-productive status because of conditions unrelated to employment.
By Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law
An Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) with the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) approved a settlement between the DOL and Ashley Soccer Camp for $185,000 in a complaint involving coaches hired under the H-1B program. $175,000 was for backpay and $10,000 for civil penalties.
Ashley Soccer Camp hired 12 soccer coaches under the H-1B program and promised to pay them between $18,000 to $55,000 each year, according to DOL. However, after the coaches came to the United States, the company reneged on these promises, giving some of its employees less than 50% of what was promised.
This led the soccer coaches to file a complaint with DOL. Thereafter, DOL found the complaint to be meritorious and set the case for a hearing. Before the hearing began, the parties reached this settlement.
By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser, PC
The Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices (OSC) has reached a settlement with Louisiana Crane & Construction LLC (Louisiana Crane), a company headquartered in Eunice, Louisiana that provides services to oilfields. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed on August 29, 2014, by OSC.
The lawsuit alleged from at least January 1, 2013, until at least September 1, 2013, Louisiana Crane required workers who are not U.S. citizens to produce documents issued by the Department of Homeland Security as a condition of employment, but it did not make similar demands of U.S. citizens. The anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) prohibits employers from placing additional documentary burdens on workers during the employment eligibility verification process based on the worker’s citizenship status.
Under the settlement agreement, Louisiana Crane will pay $165,000 in civil penalties to the United States; establish a $50,000 back pay fund to compensate workers who lost wages because of the company’s practices, revise any unlawful employment policies, have its HR Personnel trained on the INA’s anti-discrimination provision, and undergo monitoring for two years, whereby Louisiana Crane must provide new I-9 forms and related documents to OSC. Concerning the back pay fund, individuals, who were authorized to work in the United States but were denied a job at Louisiana Crane, whose hire date was delayed by Louisiana Crane or were fired by Louisiana Crane between 2011 and 2015 because they could not show the documents the company requested to prove their work authorization, may file a claim within 60 days of receiving notification of a possible back pay claim.
As this settlement demonstrates, OSC continues to demand hundreds of thousands of dollars to resolve immigration discrimination claims.