People Tech Group was ordered to pay 12 employees after the Department of Labor found it was underpaying skilled workers.
A Bellevue company has been fined $355,000 for violating labor rules pertaining to H-1B high-tech visas, according to the Department of Labor.
The agency investigated People Tech Group, a Bellevue information technology firm that provides technical contract workers to other companies, and found that it paid some H-1B workers entry-level wages that were too low, and sometimes did not pay them at all.
People Tech Group has been ordered to pay $309,914 to 12 employees plus $45,564 in civil penalties as part of an “informal settlement” it reached with the agency.
The wage and hour division of the agency said that the employees were performing skilled work that required higher pay. At times, People Tech Group did not pay H-1B workers for periods when the company hadn’t assigned them to a project, violating the visa rules, the Department of Labor said.
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H-1B visas are highly competitive and intended for companies to hire highly skilled foreign workers for U.S. jobs. The program has faced calls for reform in recent years amid concern that some information technology outsourcing firms are hiring visa holders at low salaries and dominating the annual lottery.
Multiple government agencies investigate the visa process, and last month, a Redmond CEO was charged by the Justice Department with fraud related to visa applications.
It’s not clear if People Tech Group is still in business. An email address and phone number for the company were out of service. A voicemail left on a number listed for the CEO was not immediately returned.
The company has 630 employees, according to LinkedIn. The group’s website lists its U.S. headquarters in Bellevue, with other offices across the U.S. and India.