Hooray, Indian Software Firm Smartsoft Screwed; H1B Violator Ordered to Pay $1m in Back Wages

Aye Aye Yippee Yippee Aye Aye.

Nice day outside, eh? 😉

Folks, we can’t contain our excitement.

Ha ha ha ha. 😆

Just had to share this wonderful news with y’all.

Smartsoft Violated H1B Rules

Indian software firm Smartsoft International, founded by Murugadass Krishnan and Shanthi Murugadass (Tamils??), has been royally screwed for H1B violations and ordered to pay $1 million in back wages and interest to 135 H1B workers employed by the company.

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division determined that Smartsoft violated the H-1B program’s rules.

A U.S. Labor Dept’s Wage and Hour Division investigator determined that some Smartsoft employees:

*  were not paid any wages at the beginning of their employment

* were paid on a part-time basis despite being hired under a full-time employment agreement

* and were paid less than the prevailing wage applicable to the geographic locations where they performed their work

Atlanta-based Smartsoft provides SAP implementation and upgrade services to a variety of U.S. companies. The 650-man firm, which  reported revenues of $35 million in 2008, has offices in Chennai (India), Sunnyvale, Calif., and North Brunswick, N.J.

Employers hiring H-1B non-immigrant workers must attest to the Labor Department that they will pay wages to these workers that are at least equal to the actual wages paid to other workers with similar experience and qualifications for the job in question, or the prevailing wage for the occupation in the area of intended employment, whichever is greater.

Workers Must get Full Wages

Here’s what U.S. Labor Dept. Secretary Hilda L. Solis had to say on the Smartsoft case:

Workers deserve to receive the full wages for which they have worked so hard. That is not just a matter of decency and common sense, it’s the law. The resolution of this case underscores the Labor Department’s commitment to enforcing our nation’s employment laws, including those designed to protect H-1B program participants.

Smartsoft contested the Wage and Hour Division’s conclusions and requested a formal hearing with the Labor Department’s Office of Administrative Law Judges. However, as part of this agreement the company is dropping further challenge.

Smartsoft said the settlement was not an admission of wrongdoing and that it decided to settle the dispute with the U.S. Labor Department to avoid the high cost of litigation.

The company plans to continue to get workers into the U.S. on the H1B Visa program. Now, isn’t that a shame? 🙁

Stop the H1B Program

‘Tis no secret that SearchIndia.com strongly opposes the H1B Visa program because it harms U.S. workers while benefiting mostly Indian workers.

Oftentimes, employers have abused the H1B program by not providing the appropriate pay to the employees.

With the U.S. unemployment officially at 9.5%, it is insane to have a H1B program that is rife with stories of workers being exploited by employers.

If the Obama administration had any sense they’d cancel or at least put a moratorium on the H1B Visas till the employment prospects improve for American workers.

Call your local Congressman/Senator and ask him/her to hold hearings into H1B Visas so that we can halt this program and stop further harm to American workers.

Good Job, U.S. Labor Dept.

Come on, let’s all propose a toast to the fine workers at U.S. Department of Labor.

We wish the Labor Department more success in unearthing more violations and settling them to the benefit of workers.

Muruga, Muruga, Charity Begins at Home

By the way, Smartsoft’s Murugadass Krishnan and his family members have established a charitable trust in India under the name Roshini Priya Trust to assist disadvantaged sections there.

But shouldn’t we be treating our workers in the U.S. better before we rush off with grand plans of helping the destitute in India.

Related Documents:
US Labor Department obtains nearly $1 million in back wages and interest for 135 H-1B workers of Smartsoft International

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