Virginia Tech Firm Fined $1.7 M in Comp Case

November 4, 2008 ( - Federal officials have announced that a Sterling, Virginia, information technology company has agreed to pay $1.7 million to 343 non-immigrant workers for back wages.

A U.S. Department of Labor (DoL) news release said the fine was assessed after DoL investigators found GlobalCynex Inc., violated the H-1B visa provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act. According to the DoL, employees hired under the H-1B program were not paid required wages from March 2005 through March 2007 and investigators also found that the company charged new H-1B workers illegal training fees ranging from $1,000 to $2,500.

“This case underscores the firm stance the Wage and Hour Division is taking to ensure that employers do not undercut American workers by underpaying temporary foreign workers,” said Corlis Sellers, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division’s Northeast Region, in the news release.

The H-1B visa program permits employers to temporarily hire foreign workers 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.