Monthly Archives: June 2012

Assumptions Kill the Cat (At Least in the Workplace)

In the workplace, curiosity does NOT, as they say, “kill the cat.”  To the contrary, if you are in a workplace dispute, curiosity is a GOOD thing.  Curiosity will cause you– before you take action– to take time to pause, gather more information, learn what is truly going on, and hopefully learn from credible sources what options you truly have.  These are good things.  Curiosity is a good instinct to have when you are in a risky situation, like a workplace dispute, and you don’t know the full ramifications of what’s going on.

Unfortunately, when I encounter workers who had had workplace disputes, and who are seeking my legal advice as a result of those disputes, all too often those workers had not had enough curiosity back while they were interacting with the employer.  That is, many workers who get into workplace disputes make assumptions and act on those assumptions.  Worse, those assumptions usually turn out to be wrong, and in fact harmful– with workers commonly losing their jobs, their unemployment benefits, their legal claims, etc.– in part or in whole due to those assumptions.

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Filed under Employee Tip - Problems at Job

H-1B Body Shop Ordered To Pay More Than $740,000 in Back Wages

An H-1B IT body shop in Georgia was ordered to pay $741,288 in back wages to 73 employees who were unlawfully benched or required to pay visa and application processing fees.

The Department of Labor ordered Semafor Technologies LLC in Norcross to pay the back wages following an investigation into allegations of its unlawful practices. In addition to imposing back wage payments, DOL also has required the company to implement new payroll and time-keeping procedures to ensure future compliance with the H-1B program.

The company specializes in software development, on-site/off-site application outsourcing, infrastructure, consulting and product development services.

The DOL press release on the order is available here:

http://www.dol.gov/whd/media/press/whdpressVB2print.asp?pressdoc=Southeast/20120612.xml

If you have been unpaid or benched by your employer, you may have claims. You can learn more about your rights by talking to a competent attorney.

For more information about the legal services we offer H-1B workers, see our page here.

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Does Your H-1B Wage Loss Situation Have the Makings of a Class Action?

If you are an H-1B worker who has been underpaid or otherwise mistreated by an H-1B employer, you may be able bring your claims not only on your own behalf, but also on behalf of a class of similarly situated individuals.  The attorney-authors of this blog, along with our attorney colleagues at the excellent class-action law firm Kotchen & Low, have litigated proposed class-action cases (as well as single-worker actions), in a variety of legal forums.  When H-1B workers’ situations do in fact support class-action treatment of their claims, their lawsuit can be very strong.

This article describes various factors that support class treatment of H-1B workers’ claims, the nature of such class claims and forums they can be brought in.  If you are an H-1B worker who is curious whether your situation could support a class-action case, this article will give some general educational information and food for thought.

Please note that only a competent attorney can adequately evaluate whether a valid class action would exist for your situation or should be pursued.  So if you want legal advice about whether your own situation can be pursued as a class action, please consult with a competent attorney (if you’d like, you can have a free initial consultation with us, or with another attorney of your choice).

This article will first discuss some factors that could potentially support an H-1B class action.

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Filed under Employee Tip - Considering a Legal Action, Employee Tip - H-1B

Are You an H-1B Worker Promised a Percentage-Based Wage Higher Than the Prevailing Wage? Get Documentation

A percent sign.

Has your H-1B employer promised you a wage that is based on a percentage of project work? If so, read on, as this article discusses some common issues and important considerations for H-1B workers offered percentage-based pay.  This includes the importance of having documentation of what the employer promised.

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