1. US visa row: Setback for Infosys, IT major to pay $1 mn to New York state to settle abuse case

US visa row: Setback for Infosys, IT major to pay $1 mn to New York state to settle abuse case

New York Attorney General (AG) Eric T Schneiderman has announced a $1 million settlement with Infosys for failing to properly compensate hundreds of workers, pay applicable taxes and systematically abusing the United States visa rules in placing foreign workers at client sites in New York State.

By: | Updated: June 23, 2017 11:04 PM
US visa, Infosys, IT major, New York,  H1-B visa holders,  US authorities, Attorney General Schneiderman,  employees on B-1 visas According to the Attorney General office, Infosys in order to circumvent the difficulty and expense of obtaining H-1B visa, knowingly and unlawfully obtained temporary visitor visas (B-1 visas) instead.

New York Attorney General (AG) Eric T Schneiderman has announced a $1 million settlement with Infosys for failing to properly compensate hundreds of workers, pay applicable taxes and systematically abusing the United States visa rules in placing foreign workers at client sites in New York State. “We will not permit companies to violate our laws in order to undercut New York workers. My office is committed to ensuring that our state’s labor marketplace is fair, competitive and transparent for all,” said Attorney General Schneiderman in a press release. Infosys which generates more than 60% of its revenue from US has a significant presence in New York State and provides consulting and outsourcing services to many New York-based clients in the financial sector, among other industries. This investigation by the AG’s office was carried out following a claim made by a whistleblower.

According to the Attorney General office, Infosys in order to circumvent the difficulty and expense of obtaining H-1B visa, knowingly and unlawfully obtained temporary visitor visas (B-1 visas) instead. B-1 visas are much easier to obtain. Because they apply only to visits, B-1 visa holders are not permitted to perform work of the kind Infosys workers were sent to New York to do, and they are not subject to the H1-B prevailing wage requirements. Infosys workers using B-1 visas were doing work that would otherwise have been performed by US citizens or H1-B visa holders, and were paid significantly less than what comparable US workers or H1-B visa holders would have been paid in the same positions, the press release said. Consequently, New York was deprived of taxes that should have been paid on the higher wages that Infosys avoided by its misconduct, it said.

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The AG’s office also concluded that Infosys provided instructions to employees on B-1 visas on how to deceive US consular officials. It also submitted false information of the correct purpose of the employee’s visit. “Infosys knowingly and unlawfully obtained temporary visitor visas (B-1 visas) instead,” it said. “As a result of this conduct, in addition to securing employment of foreign workers at a much lower wage than applicable prevailing wage requirements, Infosys also avoided paying applicable payroll taxes on the wages of the foreign workers it improperly placed at New York client sites,” the AG’s office said.

This is the second time that Infosys has paid a fine to the US authorities for failure to comply with the law. It had in 2013 settled into a $34 million agreement with the US justice department for alleged misuse of the employment visas.

  1. J
    John Duffield
    Jun 26, 2017 at 8:51 pm
    Somebody should go to jail for this. A fine isn't enough.
    Reply
  2. I
    ITProfessional
    Jun 24, 2017 at 12:25 am
    Practices like this made getting the B1 / H1B by experienced IT professionals from India difficult.Hopefully, Infosys will also pay (at least USD 200k-400k)for these experienced IT professional/s in India who could not go back to USA due to lack of H1B sponsership even though they have worked in USA for 8 yrs earlier (from 98-2008 and came to India for just a week vacation in 2007 and still here ) due to lack of H1B sponsership for sr. IT professionals in India since 2010-2012. I lost 200k plus money I had paid for the house I had owned in USA from 2004-2008, car, lost wages in USA from 2010-till now panies like Infosys should pay damages for this due to the type of hiring, immigration practices they have done that made it impossible to get H1B so far
    Reply
  3. I
    ITProfessional
    Jun 23, 2017 at 11:08 pm
    What does Mr. Sikka say now ?? Practices like this made the life of Indian IT professionals difficult. Due to this type of practices which led to excessive applications for B1,L1,H1B by companies like this made the careers of other IT techies at risk making it difficult to obtain visas for the legitimate purpose. Companies like this make excessive number of H1B applications for their own candidates with low ries making it difficult for independent consulting candidates to obtain H1B visas for genuine, experienced candidates even though they already worked in US for 8 yrs on H1B and came to India for a vacation of 1 week which got extended for 2 years. It should not be that difficult that a person who has worked in US for 8 yrs on H1B to obtain another H1B after a vacation/personal work of 2 years.Practices by companies like this have made the life difficult for ther IT professionals.They should also other IT professionals in India, USA who have suffered because of their practice
    Reply

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