A recent Administrative Law Judge (ALJ) decision, Administrator, Wage & Hour Div. v. Itek Consulting, Inc. 2008-LCA-00046 (5/6/09), found an H-1B employer, Itek Consulting Inc. liable for back wages for periods of time when the employee was in nonproductive status. In its decision, the ALJ references the pertinent part of the Regulations, writing “Employers are required to pay H-1B workers on the date on which the worker “enters into employment” with the employer. 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(6). Employers are required to pay H-1B employees the required wage for both productive and nonproductive time. Employment-related nonproductive time, or “benching,” results from lack of available work or lack of the individual’s license or permit. 8 U.S.C. § 1182(n)(2)(c)(vii); 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(7)(i). An employer need not pay wages for H-1B visa workers in nonproductive status due to conditions unrelated to employment or which render the employee unable to work. 20 C.F.R. § 655.731(c)(7)(ii).”These Regulations are particularly important given the state of the economy and the fact that many employees are now on the bench.The ALJ also found that an employee did not need a SSN to begin work, only evidence of having applied for one, to be considered in an employment-related nonproductive status requiring payment. And that only pay reported to IRS met requirements as evidence of payment of prevailing wage.  For full decision see: http://www.oalj.dol.gov/Decisions/ALJ/LCA/2008/WAGE_and_HOUR_DIVISI_v_ITEK_CONSULTING_INC_2008LCA00046_(MAY_06_2009)_114836_CADEC_SD.PDF