Advanced Professional Marketing Inc. also assessed civil penalty of $512,000
NEW YORK, March 25 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Advanced Professional Marketing Inc. (APMI), a medical staffing company based in New York City, and the company's president, Marissa Beck, have been charged by the U.S. Department of Labor with violating provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act that authorize employers to bring non-immigrant workers into the United States under the H-1B program.
"The department is vigorously enforcing the law to protect American workers from being undercut by employers who are underpaying temporary foreign workers," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao.
An investigation by the department's Wage and Hour Division found that 156 H-1B guest workers from the Philippines, brought into the U.S. by APMI to be employed primarily as physical therapists in hospitals and other medical facilities in the New York metropolitan area, are owed almost $3 million in back wages. The investigation revealed that APMI willfully failed to pay required wages, filed lawsuits seeking penalties against some H-1B employees for early cessation of employment, failed to make required documents available for examination, failed to maintain required documentation and used incorrect prevailing wage rates on labor condition applications.
A determination letter enumerating the results of the investigation was sent to the company and Beck on March 11 by Philip Jacobson, director of the Wage and Hour Division's district office in New York City, which conducted the investigation. The letter outlines the alleged violations and assesses civil money penalties totaling $512,000 for the violations. It also directs the respondents to pay back wages in the amount of $2,920,270 to the 156 H-1B workers. Finally, the letter informs the company and Beck of their right to request a hearing on this determination before a Labor Department administrative law judge within 15 days.
The H-1B program permits employers to temporarily hire foreign workers for jobs in the U.S. in professional occupations such as computer programmers, engineers, physicians and teachers. H-1B workers must be paid at least the same wage rates as are paid to U.S. workers who perform the same types of work or the prevailing wages in the areas of intended employment.
The Wage and Hour Division enforces the H-1B wage provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act, in addition to other federal laws pertaining to wage payments. For more information, please visit http://www.wagehour.dol.gov or call 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243) toll-free.
SOURCE U.S. Department of Labor