United States v. Bedi, No. 20-1955 (2d Cir. 2021)Annotate this Case
Datalink and its president appealed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of the Government on its claim to collect back wages on behalf of a native of Iceland and former Datalink employee. The back wages were owing to the employee under federal law governing the H-1B visa program. On appeal, defendants contend that the Government may not use the procedures of the Fair Debt Collection Procedures Act (FDCPA) to collect the unpaid wages.
The Second Circuit reversed the district court's judgment, holding that the Government may not rely on the FDCPA to collect back wages on the employee's behalf. The court agreed with defendants that an administrative award of back wages is not an amount "owing to the United States" under the FDCPA, and overruled NLRB v. E.D.P. Medical Computer Systems, Inc., 6 F.3d 951 (2d Cir. 1993), as wrongly decided and inconsistent with the ordinary meaning of the FDCPA.