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Company Flies Workers in from India, Pays Them $1.21/Hour for 120 Hour Work Week, Gets Fined Measly $3k

Analog computer from 1968 is not the computer in question, but this man was probably paid more than $1.21 per hour for his work. (Photo by Seattle Municipal Archives, via Flickr)A California tech company has been fined and ordered to pay back wages after an investigation by the Department of Labor (DOL) showed Indian workers had been paid a despicable $1.21 an hour for 120-hour work weeks. The company hired Indian workers to assist with Information Technology (IT) services and paid them their regular salaries in rupees, plus an additional bonus. DOL officials say that the wages are historically the lowest they were aware of.

According to NBC Bay Area:

The Labor Department said about eight employees of Fremont-based Electronics For Imaging were flown in from India and worked 120-hour weeks to help with the installation of computers at the company’s headquarters. The employees were paid their regular hourly wage in Indian rupees, which translated to $1.21.

EFI, which posted third-quarter revenue of nearly $200 million, released the following statement on Thursday: “During this process we unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local U.S. standards.”

EFI has been ordered to pay the workers $40,000 in back wages and will pay a dismal $3,500 fine. According to a statement from Alberto Raymond, an assistant district director for the DOL: “It is certainly outrageous and unacceptable for employers here in Silicon Valley to bring workers and pay less than the minimum wage.”

Susana Blanco, District Director of the U.S. Labor Department, said that the wages were the lowest she was aware of:

“We are not going to tolerate this kind of behavior from employers.  This was discovered through an anonymous tip, and we need that kind of information to discover these sorts of illegal situations.”

Go to CA State Page
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