Published February 06, 2013
Fox News Latino
Bloom Energy, a Silicon Valley start up, introduced the "Bloom Box," a solid oxide fuel cell device that can generate electricity at a cost of 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour using natural gas. (2010 Getty Images)
A major clean energy manufacturer based in Silicon Valley has been found guilty of paying 14 workers, brought in from Mexico, in Mexican pesos to the equivalent of $2.66 per hour, according to a U.S. Labor Department investigation.
A U.S. District Judge ruled Monday that Bloom Energy Corporation violated the minimum wage, overtime and record-keeping provisions of the Fair Labor Standards Act.
Bloom Energy, a manufacturer of clean energy power generating systems for companies like Google, Walmart, Coca-Cola, FedEx and eBay, must now pay the Mexican nationals $31,922 in back wages, an equal amount in liquidated damages, as well as $6,160 in civil money penalties.
"It is appalling that this was happening right in the heart of Silicon Valley, one of the wealthiest per capita areas in the U.S.," said Ruben Rosalez, regional administrator for the Wage and Hour Division in the West, in a Labor Department statement.
Bloom Energy is a private company with an estimated value at $2.7 billion.
The specific jobs the 14 workers completed is unknown, but the Labor Department has ordered Bloom Energy to not ship the goods produced in violation of the FLSA.
According to the FLSA, nonexempt employees must be paid at least the federal minimum wage of $7.25.
"The department remains vigilant in protecting the rights of vulnerable workers," Rosalez said. "And to ensuring they are paid the wages they have rightfully earned."
Read more: http://latino.foxnews.com/latino/news/2013/02/06/silicon-valley-company-busted-for-paying-workers-in-mexican-pesos/#ixzz2K92eCIcH