WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – Himanshu Bhatia, the Indian-American chief executive of Rose International and IT Staffing, has been charged with the callous treatment of a housekeeper, one who came from India to work for her.
Under Bhatia’s leadership, Rose International and IT Staffing has seen its revenue grow to nearly $400 million annually.
The allegations, levied against Bhatia by the U.S. Department of Labor, charge she paid her domestic service worker $400 per month plus food and housing for work being performed during 15-and-a-half hours a day, seven days a week at her home in San Juan Capistrano and other luxury residences in Miami, Las Vegas and Long Beach, California.
Filed by U.S. Labor Secretary Thomas E Perez in the District Court for the Central District of California, the complaint said Sheela Ningwal, the housekeeper, was subject to callous abuse and retaliation.
Ningwal was often forced to sleep in the garage on a piece of carpet in the company of Bhatia’s dogs, even when she was ill. Ningwal was also left without food when Bhatia was away from her home for more than a day, the complaint said. Additionally, Ningwal’s passport was confiscated by Bhatia. She was only given the liberty of travel when it was shuttling between Bhatia’s properties, the complaint added.
Ningwal was fired in Dec. 2014 after Bhatia caught her researching labor laws, specifically Colorado labor laws for commissioned employees, on the internet and after she refused to sign a document Bhatia wrote. The document was an agreement that Ningwal was being paid a livable wage and had no disputes with the arrangement.
Bhatia was previously found guilty in having violated the Fair Labor Standards Act’s minimum wage and record keeping provisions from July 2012 to December 2014, as well as the act’s anti-retaliation provision.