Indian workers win over $40,000 in an unfair payment dispute

Labor regulators recently found that a group of eight foreign workers had been grossly underpaid by a California company. Electronics for Imaging was fined for not giving the workers proper payment in accordance with California minimum wage laws. According to the report, the misconduct took place over a three-month period in 2013.

The company was placed under investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor, and some shocking findings were revealed. According to the investigators, the employees were working, with no overtime pay, as many as 122 hours each week. The amount they were paid averaged out to as little as $1.21 per hour, which is well below California's hourly minimum wage.

According to the company's officials, the underpayment was a mistake as they did not realize that the law required foreign workers to be paid minimum wage and overtime. Those same officials reported that the workers were instead given an unspecified bonus and paid as if they were laboring in their home country. In addition, they were paid in their home currency instead of in U.S. dollars. The government investigation resulted in the workers being awarded payment for back wages, overtime and damages in excess of $40,000. The California company was also fined $3,520 for the labor violations.

All California workers are expected to be paid in accordance with state and federal labor laws.  If a worker is involved in a payment dispute with his or her company because he or she has been underpaid, that worker may choose to pursue legal options against his or her employer if the issue goes unresolved. In a successful case, the claimant may receive back wages wages and any damages awarded by the court.

Source: gadgets.ndtv.com, "Silicon Valley Firm Fined for Underpaying Indian Employees", Oct. 24, 2014

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