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Feds Can Fine for Visa Violations After Deadline

(CN) - U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis had the power to impose sanctions for violations of H-1B visa regulations, even though the time period for such actions had expired, the 3rd Circuit ruled.

The original case was filed in Delaware by temporary staffing company Cyberworld Enterprise Technologies after Solis waited 18 months to act on a 2001 complaint that the company was in violation with H-1B visa regulations.

H-1B visas allow U.S. employers to temporarily hire foreign workers provided that domestic workers are not displaced.

Although the Department of Labor was required by law to determine within thirty days whether a "reasonable basis" existed for the complaint, it did not make this determination until mid-2003.

Judge Marjorie O. Rendell affirmed the lower courts' decision that Solis retained jurisdiction, stating that if the federal government were prevented from acting after the deadline, the American Competitiveness and Workforce Improvement Act's displacement requirements would be left essentially unregulated.

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