Intel settlement. Intel Corp. has settled with the US Department of Labor’s Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs, or OFCCP, over allegations of systemic pay discrimination against female, African American and Hispanic American employees at its facilities in Arizona, California and Oregon, the DOL reported. Under the terms of the settlement, Intel will pay $3.5 million in back pay and interest and will allocate at least $1.5 million in pay-equity adjustments for the next five years for US employees in engineering positions as part of its annual pay equity analysis.

“Women, African Americans, and Hispanic Americans earned back pay and interest in this case,” said Craig Leen, OFCCP director in San Francisco.

“Intel Corp. is one of the first technology companies to take multiple proactive steps to ensure pay equity,” said Jane Suhr, OFCCP regional director in San Francisco.

Santa Clara, California-based Intel provides services and products to federal agencies, including NASA. As a government contractor, the technology giant is subject to an executive order mandating nondiscriminatory practices in hiring and employment on the part of US government contractors. The company volunteered to enter into an early resolution agreement with the OFCCP and agreed to take proactive steps to enhance its compliance.

Visa program debarment. After an investigation by the US Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division, or WHD, South Dakota-based Dagel Steel Construction agreed to be debarred from participating in the H visa programs for five years. WHD investigators alleged the company violated the labor provisions of the H-2B Visa Program.

The investigation led to a settlement agreement that included the company’s payment of $69,951 in back wages to 16 H-2B laborers who were recruited from South Africa and Mexico. Dagel Steel Construction also paid $30,049 in civil money penalties.

The H-2B nonimmigrant visa program permits employers to hire nonimmigrants to perform temporary nonagricultural labor or services.

Specifically, WHD investigators alleged Dagel Steel Construction – which specializes in erecting steel grain bin elevators and other commercial buildings – violated H-2B requirements when it:

  • Paid workers less than the required wage rate;
  • Failed to notify federal agencies of early separation of six H-2B workers;
  • Assigned H-2 B employees to work in locations outside the certified job location in South Dakota;
  • Assigned H-2B workers to perform job duties outside the certified job description;
  • Failed to identify accurately the number of workers needed and the period of need;
  • Failed to pay workers’ inbound and outbound transportation costs from their home countries as required;
  • Failed to pay housing and visa costs as required;
  • Took impermissible deductions from H-2B workers’ wages; and
  • Failed to post the required H-2B poster.

“The US Department of Labor sought debarment of Dagel Steel Construction because the employer failed to comply with well-documented requirements of the H-2B visa program. The employer’s obligations are clearly detailed during the process of seeking certification to hire temporary foreign laborers,” said Betty Campbell, WHD regional administrator in Dallas. “The Wage and Hour Division is committed to safeguarding American jobs, leveling the playing field for law-abiding employers and protecting vulnerable workers from being paid less than they are legally owed.”