Maryland’s Prince George’s County Public School System (PGCPS) was found to be in violation of the regulations governing the H-1B temporary foreign workers visa program after an investigation by the U.S. Department of Labor Wage and Hour Division.
The investigation in PGCPS’s practice of the H-1B program revealed 1,044 teachers hired under the program had their wages illegally reduced. Under the H-1B program foreign professionals are hired to work in the U.S. temporarily; however, they must be paid at the same wage level or higher and be given the same benefits as U.S. workers doing a similar job in the same area. The violations amount to $1,740,000.00 in civil damages and PGCPS may be prohibited from filing new H-1B petitions, extensions or requests for permanent residency. The fees employers are suppose to pay for hiring workers under the H-1B program were not paid by PGCPS and instead the school system mandated the fees to be paid by teachers themselves. These fees are the reason why the teachers earnings fell below the level required by the regulations under the H-1B visa program.