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8TH CIRCUIT DENIES DEPARTMENT OF LABOR

Mechelle Zarou

Mechelle Zarou

Traditionally, the Department of Labor (“DOL”) has used the complaint of a single H-1B employee to investigate a company’s entire H-1B program. Following the latest decision from the 8th Circuit, this approach is likely to cease.

The 8th Circuit held that the underlying Congressional statue, “expressly ties the [DOL’s] initial investigative authority to the complaint and those specific allegations.” The DOL must have “reasonable cause” to extend the scope of an investigation.

In the Greater Missouri Medical Pro-Care Providers case, the H-1B employer hired several Physical and Occupational Therapists. One of these Therapists filed a Complaint which made its way to the DOL and resulted in a company-wide investigation. Based on this investigation, the employer was ordered to pay $382,890 in back wages to H-1B employees.

Limiting the DOL’s investigative powers to the complaint and the specific allegations contained therein potentially limits employer liability to a considerable degree.

For more information, please contact Mechelle Zarou at 419.321.1460 or mzarou@slk-law.com.

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