US firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

US firm fined for underpaying Indian workers

A Silicon Valley IT company in the US has been ordered to pay USD 40,000 in back wages to eight Indian workers who worked up to 122 hours a week and received as little as USD 1.21 an hour.

The Electronics for Imaging Inc (EFI) also paid a fine of USD 3,500 following a federal investigation into its wage and hour practices, which had included paying its workers in Indian Rupees and having them work up to 122 hours a week in the company's IT department.

The employees who were paid to help install a computer network when the company moved its home office from Foster City to Fremont, the San Jose Mercury News reported.

An anonymous tip prompted the US Department of Labor to investigate the case, which resulted in more than USD 40,000 in back wages paid to the eight employees and a fine of USD 3,500 for Electronics for Imaging.

The data storage provider said that it had brought in some of its IT employees from Bangalore to do the jobs in Fremont between September 8 and December 21, 2013.

"During this process we unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards," the company said in a statement.

A wage and hour division with the Department of Labour in San Francisco said that the back wages were based on the gap between the USD 1.21 an hour that was paid by EFI and the California minimum wage of USD 8 an hour.

"We are not going to tolerate this kind of behaviour from employers," said Susana Blanco, a district director of the US Labour Department's wage and hour division in San Francisco.

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