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Busted: Tech company caught paying workers under $2 an hour

Busted: Tech company caught paying workers under $2 an hour
photo courtesy of shutterstock

Do you remember that cruddy minimum wage job you worked in high school? We all had one. Whether you were flipping burgers or babysitting, you did anything you could to scrounge together a few bucks to buy a car or pay for college. But, if you think that wage was bad, you're not going to believe what one California tech company was paying workers it brought in from India. I'll give you a hint: It was under $2 an hour.

The employees were paid their regular hourly wage in Indian rupees, which translated to $1.21. That's close to what the minimum wage was in the U.S. in 1966!

Alberto Raymond, an assistant district director with the US Department of Labor told NBC, "It is certainly outrageous and unacceptable for employers here in Silicon Valley to bring in workers and pay less than the minimum wage."

If that awful wage wasn't bad enough, Electronics for Imaging was also having the eight people work up to 120 hours every week!

Even though this sounds like a pretty serious labor violation, the company received just a small slap on the wrist from the United States Department of Labor.

Here's the unbelievably crazy sounding quote EFI gave to NBC's Bay Area affiliate: "We unintentionally overlooked laws that require even foreign employees to be paid based on local US standards."

So, what kind of punishment did the government dole out to the company? It had to pay a fine of $3,500 for the violations. The company also had to pay the workers $40,000 in back pay.

If that penalty sounds small, it will sound even smaller when you consider that the company had $200 million in revenue in its last quarter.

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Source: NBC News
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