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Apr 01st
(I've posted the article below so your PDF Print E-mail
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Monday, 29 March 2010 13:31
(I've posted the article below so your readers will know the real story. By the way, I'm still waiting for your own investigation into the DOL case. So, did you find out from the U.S. Department of Labor if indeed they conducted an investigation and issued a determination against Asian Journal, which has violated - DOL's own words - federal labor laws against our own kababayans? Half a million dollars is a lot of money. That's more than P20 million. If you say that Asian Journal provides for competitive salaries - for the record you say, and hopefully you can back it up with real numbers from the IRS and the DOL - then why do you think the DOL says otherwise and is penalizing Asian Journal?! FYI - another thing is that from I've read so far, the lawyer that you have mentioned is facing some serious issues, and possibly a criminal investigation from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department as reported by KFI News (It's in your own website, for crying out loud). And Voila! It is also your own kababayans who claimed that they were defrauded by the lawyer you are defending! Not to mention, Koreans and Armenians.) DOL says newspaper owes employees $.44-M in back wages Asian Journal, an ethnic publication that circulates in Los Angeles, San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York, which boasts of having a circulation of more than 140,000 copies every week, has been found to be violating federal labor laws, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, and owes employees about a half million dollars in back wages. Documents obtained by Balita Media indicated that Asian Journal Publications Inc. "committed" violations relating to misrepresentation of material fact on the Labor Condition Application (or LCA, a DOL document to determine prevailing wage); "willfully failed to pay wages as required;" accepted payment for petition fees; and "failed to make available for public examination" documents that the DOL required of them. But while DOL’s determination of violations allegedly committed by Asian Journal will cost the publication $66,700 in civil money penalty, the labor department, however, stated that Asian Journal "owes back wages in the amount of $473,217.65." In a letter dated Jan. 5, 2010 to Asian Journal president Roger Oriel, the DOL said that "Based on the evidence obtained in the recently concluded Wage and Hour Division investigation of Asian Journal Publications, Inc., under the H-1B provisions of the INA (Immigration and Naturalization Act)…it has been determined that your firm has committed" the violations stated above. DOL said Asian Journal "must pay" the civil penalty and the "back wage amount" in installments "unless you appeal this determination." A separate letter from Asian Journal’s counsel, Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP, obtained by Balita Media, stated that Asian Journal has requested a hearing questioning all DOL determinations and whether all of the violations, fees and penalties and back wage amounts have basis. According to the Summary of Violations and Remedies stipulated by the DOL, Asian Journal "misrepresented a material fact on the LCA" that involved H-1B employees. H-1B employees are nonimmigrants who possess a working visa that allows them to work for a petitioning company for up to six years. DOL added that Asian Journal owes 22 H-1B employees in the amount of $443,082.65, plus a civil money penalty in the amount of $52,250. Because of these violations, the DOL said the Department of Homeland Security shall be notified and to "deny any petitions filed" by Asian Journal. The newspaper has also been required to refund any petition filing fee paid by an H-1B employee to Asian Journal. The letter to the DOL from Asian Journal’s counsels listed a total of 31 "interested parties," including the 22 H-1B employees who work or may have worked for Asian Journal, including a senior vice president and a former editor. The counsels also disputed the DOL findings and said that Asian Journal "did not misrepresent any material facts in the LCAs willfully or negligently." They also said that Asian Journal need not compensate terminated employees or those who have moved to other employers or who have now become permanent residents; that wages for part-time employees were "computed" as if they were working as full-time employees; legal fees and filing fees for petitions were paid by Asian Journal; and that the administrator’s investigation exceeded the allowable scope of its investigation. Asian Journal publishes twice a week in Los Angeles and weekly in San Francisco, Las Vegas and New York. Its pages are full of lawyer advertisers, some of whom write articles on immigration and labor issues which tell readers how to legally work in the U.S. and how to find the right employer. Balita Media tried to get a comment from Asian Journal on Friday. As of press time, however, Balita Media has yet to receive its side of the story.
This is a comment on "Asian Journal Sues Balita Media"

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