Indian-origin ordered to pay $135,000Top Stories

April 19, 2017 12:07
Indian-origin ordered to pay $135,000

An Indian-origin CEO in the US has been ordered to pay 135,000 USD to her former domestic employee after a Labor Department Investigation found that she underpaid and mistreated her worker.

Himanshu Bhatia, who is the CEO of Rose International and IT Staffing, have to pay her former domestic worker under the terms of a consent judgment entered into the United States District Court for the Central District of California.

The judgment, which was made on April 11, resolves a complaint filed by the United States Department of Labor in August 2016. An investigation conducted by the departments Wage and Hour Division found that Bhatia repeatedly violated federal labor laws, minimum wage law and record keeping provisions from July 2012 to December 2014.

Bhatia agreed to pay the service worker, identified as Sheela Ningwal, a fixed monthly salary of $400 plus food and housing at Bhatia’s in San Juan Capistrano and other residences in Miami, Las Vegas and Long Beach.

Investigators found that Ningwal suffered “callous abuse” and retaliation, including being forced to sleep on a piece of carpet in the garage when ill, while the employer’s pet dogs slept on a mattress nearby. Bhatia also confiscated Ningwal’s passport.

Bhatia sacked the worker in December 2014, after she found that her employee was researching about labor laws online.

The worker also refused to sign a document stating that she was paid an adequate salary and had no employment dispute with Bhatia.

"This consent judgment underlines the department's commitment to protecting workers from exploitation," said Janet Herold, solicitor for the Department of Labor’s Western Region. "The department will take strong.

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