DALLAS – An information technology services company in Irving hired a system analyst under the H-1B visa program, then failed to use and pay the worker the required prevailing wage for non-productive time – an illegal practice known as “benching” – a U.S. Department of Labor investigation has found.

The department’s Wage and Hour Division determined Cigniti Technologies Inc. benched the employee illegally over a 15 month period, and failed to pay the full, pro-rated amount of the worker’s prevailing wage for periods of non-productive work. By doing so, the employer violated the requirements of the federal H-1B visa program.

The investigation by the division’s New Orleans District Office led to the recovery of $64,244 in wages owed to the employee.

“Employers who hire workers under the H-1B visa program must comply with all legal requirements, which are clearly detailed in the program’s application process,” said Wage and Hour District Director Troy Mouton in New Orleans. “We encourage employers to contact the Wage and Hour Division for information about their obligations to avoid violations.”

The department offers numerous resources to ensure employers have the tools they need to understand their responsibilities and to comply with federal law, such as online videos, an H-1B presentation and confidential calls to local Wage and Hour Division offices.

A subsidiary of Cigniti Technologies Limited in India, Cigniti Technologies Inc. provides staffing services and information technology support, including software development, programming analysis and engineering services. The company employs U.S. and H-1B workers throughout the U.S. 

For more information about H-1B visa, FLSA and other laws enforced by the division, contact the agency’s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Learn more about the Wage and Hour Division, and use its search tool if you think you may be owed back wages collected by the division. Workers can call the Wage and Hour Division confidentially with questions – regardless of their immigration status – and the department can speak with callers in more than 200 languages.

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