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2013: A year of many H1B employment abuses

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The year 2013 will be remembered for, among other things, record fines paid by U.S. employers for violating federal immigration laws.  Many employers were fined for trying to skirt the harsh federal employment visa system.

According to a Global Post article, these fines included:

  • In February 2013, Tata Consultancy Services, based in Mumbai, India, paid a $30 settlement to resolve charges that the company had forced employees to sign over their tax return checks when they returned to India at the end of their tenure in the U.S.
  • IBM, the seventh largest H1B employer, paid a fine of $44,000 for giving preferential treatment to H1B employees over US citizens during the hiring process
  • In October of 2013, Infosys paid the largest fine on record - $34,000,000 - over allegations of "systematic visa fraud and abuse of immigration processes."  A two year investigation revealed that Infosys routinely had foreign workers come to the U.S. on B1 business travel visas and work in the U.S. instead of obtaining the proper H1B or L1 visa
  • An ongoing case involves 18 American workers at Molina who claim that they were laid off and improperly replaced with H1B employees from India

Of course, many employers rely upon the H1B visa to secure the necessary foreign employees that they need and do so without violating federal immigration law.  Companies that violate the law make it harder for companies that want to play by the rules.  Abuses also provide useful fodder to those who would oppose immigration reform.

If you have questions about the H1B process or need assistance in securing the appropriate visa for a foreign worker, please give us a call at (314) 961-8200 or email us at [email protected]

 

DOL

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