The Department of Labour has opened the investigation against Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys for “possible violations of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility Southern California Edison,” the New York Times said.
The power company had recently laid off more than 500 technology workers amid claims that many of those laid off were made to train their replacements who were immigrants on the temporary work visas brought in by the Indian firms senators Richard Durbin of Illinois and Jeff Sessions of Alabama announced the investigation after they were notified by the department, the report said.
The move by the Labour Department comes days after the NYT had reported that hundreds of employees at entertainment giant Walt Disney were laid off and replaced with Indians holding H1-B visas.
About 250 Disney employees were told in late October last year that they would be laid off and many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on H1-B visas brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India, the report had said.
It had also cited the layoffs at the Southern California Edison power utility, saying that the layoffs are “raising new questions about how businesses and outsourcing companies are using the temporary visas, known as H-1B, to place immigrants in technology jobs in the United States.
What can be the effects of H1B violations, if found?
A lot of employers, innocently or deliberately, commit various acts that violate the immigration regulations and thus, become exposed to sanctions including back pay, civil fines, and disqualification from USCIS approval of employment-based immigrant petitions or H, L, O, and P nonimmigrant petitions.
The nightmarish story of the 'indentured' Indian tech worker in America has found its most recent rendering in a graphic novel published by The Center for Investigative Reporting (CIR), a non-profit American organization. A Pulitzer Prize finalist in 2012 and 2013, CIR may just be in the running again for its work on the mercenary practices of the tech 'in-sourcing' industry, which thrives on the inflow of highly-skilled Indian tech workers on H-1B visas.
CIR's graphic novel has been scripted and sketched by Silicon Valley reporter Matt Smith, who along with fellow journalist Gollan, spells out the tech staffing firms' damning five-point modus operandi -
1. Companies lure Indian workers to the US with phantom jobs.
2. Workers are often unpaid (brokers withhold salaries).
3. Brokers demand cash for visas.
4. Workers often feel pressure to "spice up," or falsify, their resumes (brokers often suggest they do this in order to get hired).
5. Bonding and penalties are heaped on workers who quit. They also write about the culpability of US government departments that have looked past H-1B violations.
As of now, you can view list of Employers/Companies who are debarred by DOL to apply for H1B can be seen from below link: