WASHINGTON: A New Jersey-based staffing company has agreed to pay $345,000 to settle allegations that it has violated immigration and employment regulations concerning continuous employment and wage requirements of workers it had brought to the US on H-1B visas.
The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. H-1B visas are most sought-after among Indian IT professionals.
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the Department of Labour and the US Attorney for the District of New Jersey ordered Savantis Solutions to pay $345,000 to resolve allegations against H-1B related violations.
Savantis, formerly known as Vedicsoft Solutions, has a presence in India as well. The company is involved in consulting, technology and staffing, utilising primarily foreign nationals in the US pursuant to H-1B visas.
A probe found that from January 2014 through June 2018 many of Savantis’ H-1B workers were not paid the required wage in regular intervals at the required wage rate throughout their period of employment, the ICE said in a statement on Monday.
The company also failed to properly pay many of its H-1B workers in conformance with their applications to the federal government and federal regulations, it said.
Savantis improperly recruited H-1B workers by having them submit a security deposit prior to submitting their application, the statement said.
The $345,365 in restitution will be used to pay back wages plus interest to employees and former employees of the company, it said.
However, the statement did not mention how many employees were covered by this settlement and how many would receive the pending wages and interest.
“Savantis cooperated in the investigation of the matter and undertook compliance efforts in response. Pursuant to the agreement, the company is also required to hire an outside law firm to serve as a monitor to ensure ongoing and continued compliance with the relevant rules and regulations for the next three years,” the statement said.