A federal lawsuit was filed this month in an Indiana District Court after a worker accused an Indianapolis staffing company, Access Therapies, of not only abusing legal foreign workers but violating federal labor laws as well.
According to his attorney, about 100 workers are likely affected by this lawsuit and has petitioned to have the lawsuit expanded to a class action.
According to the complaint, Access Therapies-which provides health care staffing to hospitals, schools and other facilities-hired workers from India, the Philippines and other foreign countries, using H-1B sponsorships to fill vacant positions. Workers claim, however, that they were not paid the required prevailing wages, subsequently violating both federal anti-trafficking and forced labor laws while also violating Indiana state wage laws as well.
But it appears that Access Therapies has been fighting back, even going so far as to sue several foreign workers for breach of contract despite employee claims that the company awarded them an employment visa with the promise of a job that didn’t exist.
Muddying the waters further is a 2010 letter sent from the U.S. Department of Labor to Access Therapies claiming that the company failed to pay wages as required and ordered them to cooperating with their investigation into the matter. In the letter, the agency holds the company liable to pay back more than $1 million to 32 H-1B nonimmigrants. It is unclear at this time whether this amount is a factor in the lawsuit or not.
Source: The Indy Channel, “Lawsuit: Indianapolis staffing company abused foreign workers, violated federal labor laws,” Kara Kenney, Jan. 17, 2013