Skip to Content

H-1B visa-reliant Cisco ‘secured visas for foreign workers instead of hiring U.S. citizens’: report

27 Aug

Federal investigators found San Jose tech giant Cisco discriminated against American workers by favoring visa-carrying foreign nationals, according to a new report.

The U.S. Department of Labor concluded that Cisco “secured visas for foreign workers instead of hiring U.S. citizens for certain jobs and paid the visa holders at a lower rate than their American counterparts,” legal-news website Bloomberg Law reported Monday, citing unnamed sources said to be familiar with the probe.

Cisco, the website reported, denied the allegation about pay but didn’t address the issue of favoring foreign workers.

“Visa holders are paid on the same basis as U.S. citizens and permanent residents,” a Cisco spokeswoman told Bloomberg Law.

“We are committed to fostering a diverse and inclusive workforce that includes ensuring that everyone who works for Cisco is paid fairly for the job that they do.”

Cisco made $49 billion this fiscal year, and had 37,000 U.S. employees in 2017 out of a total workforce of 72,900, the company said in its financial disclosures.

The company employed nearly 1,600 visa holders last year, Bloomberg Law reported. Cisco received 479 new H-1B visas last year, according to the National Foundation for American Policy. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration data show Cisco had 1,587 new and renewed H-1B visa holders in 2017, with an average salary of $128,389.

Cisco’s hiring practices fall under federal oversight because it’s a contractor to the U.S. government. The Labor Department allegedly discovered Cisco’s discriminatory practices during a routine audit, Bloomberg Law reported.

Settlement negotiations between the company and the federal government are under way, the website said.

Ethan Baron

PUBLISHED: August 21, 2018 at 10:13 am | UPDATED: August 22, 2018 at 7:00 am