What’s the minimum that some companies are trying to pay workers in Silicon Valley?
If you guessed “the required minimum wage for the state of California,” you’d be wrong: Electronics for Imaging Inc. paid eight Indian technicians $1.21 per hour, for as many as 122 working hours per week, with no overtime. The company claimed that the low salary was “unintentional,” and that it originally paid the IT workers what they earned as their regular salary in Bangalore.
The technicians reportedly helped Electronics for Imaging transfer its technology stack from the company’s old headquarters in Foster City, California to its new one in nearby Fremont. An anonymous tip alerted authorities to the situation, according to the San Jose Mercury News. The company claims that it moved to rectify the situation as soon as an angry U.S. Department of Labor showed up on its doorstep.
The Associated Press quoted Michael Eastwood, a Department of Labor assistant district director, as saying that the situation was “worse than anything that I ever saw in any of those Los Angeles sweatshops.”
Electronics for Imaging will need to pay more than $43,000 in penalties and back wages, which shouldn’t be much of a problem, considering the company expects to pull in just under $800 million in revenue for its fiscal year 2014.
Meanwhile, most tech workers in the U.S. continue to receive healthy salaries.
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