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  1. Tech Company Agrees to Pay $173,000 to resolve H-1B Violations

    By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law

    Cloudwick Technologies Inc., a California-based IT company, has agreed to pay $173,044 to 12 employees for violations of the federal H-1B foreign labor certification program after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division (WHD). Additionally, Cloudwick has also enrolled in an enhanced compliance agreement requiring them to hire an independent third-party monitor to help ensure future compliance.

    WHD investigators found the company paid impacted employees well below the wage levels required under the H-1B program based on job skill level, and also made illegal deductions from workers’ salaries. As a result, some of the H-1B employees that Cloudwick brought from India with promised salaries of up to $8,300 per month instead received as little as $800 net per month.

    The Trump administration is touting this agreement as another victory for “Buy American, Hire American.” Susana Blanco, Wage and Hour Division District Director in San Francisco stated “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. The resolution of this case demonstrates our commitment to safeguard American jobs, level the playing field for law-abiding employers, and protect guest workers from being paid less than they are legally owed.”

    Cloudwick provides data solution services to major corporations nationwide, including American Express, Bank of America, Apple, Cisco, Comcast, Intuit, Safeway, Verizon, Visa, and many others.
  2. Six-Figure Back Pay to Settle Cases with Immigrants

    By Bruce Buchanan, Siskind Susser P.C.

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    Two companies have recently agreed to settle wage and hour claims involving immigrant employees for between $300,000 and $500,000. In one case, Kevin Corriveau Painting Inc. and three owners or officers settled with U.S. Department of Labor by agreeing to pay $437,300 in wages and damages to employees, many of whom were immigrants, plus a $62,700 civil penalty. Additionally, Corriveau Painting agreed to stop intimidating employees with threats to report them to immigration authorities.

    In a separate case, U.S. District Judge Robert Blackburn approved a $305,000 settlement between Carniceria y Verduleria Guadalajara, a Mexican butcher shop and grocer ( located in Denver), and workers - who were mainly immigrants, concerning the employer’s alleged failure to pay minimum wage and overtime. The plaintiff, Mancia Rivera, who worked at Guadalajara from 2009 to 2013, sued through a class action accusing the store of routinely working employees more than 40 hours a week, but not paying them minimum wage, or time-and-a-half for overtime, as the law requires. The workers received $173,701 to compensate them for wage losses, lead plaintiff Rivera received an additional $7,500 incentive award, and the plaintiffs’ attorneys received $100,000 with the remaining $25,000 going toward administrative expenses.

    Although Guadalajara did not commit any immigration violations, often employers, such as Corriveau Painting, who hire immigrants, undocumented and documented workers, also violate wage and hour laws.

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