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Atlanta-area firm to pay back wages

Atlanta-area firm to pay back wages
Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis participates in a panel at the White House Council on Women and Girls' Forum on workplace flexibility in the Eisenhower Executive Office Building adjacent to the White House in Washington on March 31, 2010. UPI/Madeline Marshall | License Photo

SUWANEE, Ga., Aug. 19 (UPI) -- A Georgia consulting firm, in a deal with the U.S. Labor Department, will pay nearly $1 million in back wages to temporary foreign workers, officials say.

In the agreement announced by the Labor Department, Smartsoft International Inc. of Suwanee, Ga., made no admission of wrongdoing or violating the H-1B federal visa program that allows U.S. companies to hire foreign workers for up to six years. Smartsoft will pay nearly $1 million to 135 foreign employees who held skilled, professional jobs, the department said in a release posted on its Web site Tuesday.

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"Workers deserve to receive the full wages for which they have worked so hard," said U.S. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis. "This is not just a matter of decency and common sense, it's the law."

Smartsoft, which has more than 650 employees worldwide, allegedly paid some foreign workers as part-timers when they were hired for full-time work or did not pay workers at the start of their employment.

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