The U.S. Department of Labor on Monday ordered Prince George’s County Public Schools to pay $4.2 million in back wages to more than 1,000 foreign teachers and fined the school system $1.7 million for illegally reducing their pay.
The teachers were hired under the H-1B visa program, under which foreign workers may be hired temporarily for pay that must be equal to what their U.S. counterparts earn.
The Labor Department said the county’s school system should have paid fees associated with using the program but instead required the foreign workers to pay the fees.
“As a result, the teachers’ earnings were reduced below the amount legally required to be paid,” officials said.
Along with the fine, Prince George’s County schools could be prevented from filing new petitions, requests for extensions or permanent residency requests for foreign employees.