A Bay Area tech company has been fined for paying workers $1.21 per hour.
The company, Electronics for Imaging, flew eight employees from India to its headquarters in Fremont, Cali. where they worked 120-hour weeks helping install new computers, according to a report from NBC Bay Area.
The workers were paid in their normal hourly wage in Indian rupees, which equals a little more than one dollar per hour, according to the report.
The Department of Labor has fined the company and is also requiring them to pay thousands of dollars in back wages to the employees.
“To help our local IT team with a complex move of our Bay Area facility and data center, we brought a few of our IT employees from India for a short assignment in the US.,” said Beverly Rubin, EFI’s vice president of HR shared services, in a statement to CNBC.
“During this assignment they continued to be paid their regular pay in India, as well as a special bonus for their efforts on this project. During this process we unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards. When this was brought to our attention, we cooperated fully with the Department of Labor, and did not hesitate to correct our mistake and to make our Indian colleagues whole based on US laws, including for all overtime worked. We have also taken steps to ensure that this type of administrative error does not reoccur,” Rubin said in the statement.
Because of fierce competition for tech talent in Silicon Valley, salaries have ballooned over the last few years.
In 2013, the average annual wage for high-tech workers in Silicon Valley was $195,815 and $156,518 for workers in San Francisco, according to Bureau of Labor Statistics data crunched by the commercial real estate firm JLL.
But wealth in the Valley isn’t growing equally for all tech workers.
The average annual wage for Asian-American tech workers was $8,146 less than white employees and $3,656 less than black employees in 2012, according to a compensation study by the American Institute for Economic Research. Women in tech made $6,358 less than men the same year, according to the study.