US IT company to pay 2.4 million to H1b workers

cnet reported that a Cambridge, Mass company is having to pay back 2.4 million to 607 workers who were paid below the prevailing wage. In order for a US company to hire an H1b person they must pay them a similar wage to a US employee. This is supposed to mean that H1b workers aren’t brought into the country as cheap labor. If you take the 2.4 million and divide it between the 600 workers you come up with about $4000 per person. The Department of labor website doesn’t mention how they were able to detect this underpayment but my guess is it was related to employees not being paid when they are on the bench i.e. didn’t have work to do since calculating the prevailing wage is hard.

US companies don’t like employees to talk about how much employees earn which makes it very hard for an H1b employee to know if they are being paid at a lower wage or not. The opposite is not true for US employees, if a company applies for a new H1b visa they must post in a public location copies of the application for other employees to review. This can be very interesting reading if you company hires a lot of foreign nationals. It also means you can view what the current new hire wage is.

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