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Infosys Says Government Found No H-1B Wrongdoing

9 Sep

Information technology outsourcing firm Infosys Ltd. has been cleared by the Labor Department of any wrongdoing in its H-1B visa applications connected to workers at Southern California Edison, the company announced Sept. 7.

Infosys said it cooperated fully with the DOL investigation, which found no violations among the 145 files reviewed.

“Infosys continues to actively recruit and hire talent in the U.S., but while there is a shortage of technology skills, Infosys is a responsible participant in the H-1B program,” Infosys Executive Vice President and Head of Americas Sandeep Dadlani said in a statement. “We do not practice or condone unfair or unethical H-1B visa practices. Our key priority is to operate fairly, ethically and with integrity, which is good business and what our clients expect.”

“We are proud of our robust immigration compliance program and very pleased to receive this positive determination of verification from the DOL of our technical and substantive compliance,” Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer David Kennedy added. “Infosys is happy to cooperate with any future government agency inquiries to continue to demonstrate our commitment to compliance.”

A DOL spokesman didn’t immediately respond to Bloomberg BNA’s request for confirmation of the findings.

Investigation Spurred by Layoffs

The investigation was spurred by allegations that hundreds of U.S.-born information technology workers at SCE were replaced earlier this year by H-1B highly skilled guestworkers employed by Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services Ltd. The U.S. workers additionally claimed they were forced to train their replacements or else lose out on severance or other benefits.

The allegations drew the ire of a handful of lawmakers, including Sens. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.), who demanded a multi-agency investigation into abuses of the H-1B program (69 DLR A-6, 4/10/15).

The DOL initially declined to investigate, concluding that it was prevented from doing so by the limitations placed on it by the Immigration and Nationality Act. But the department in June told Durbin and Sessions that it would be launching an investigation into Infosys and Tata (113 DLR A-8, 6/12/15).

This investigation isn’t the first time Infosys has come under scrutiny for its visa practices. In November 2013, for example, the company agreed to pay $34 million to settle Justice Department charges that it used B-1 business visas to skirt the requirements of the H-1B program, representing the largest payment ever made in an immigration case (211 DLR A-15, 10/30/13).

Workers’ Lawsuit Continues

Meanwhile, a group of former U.S.-born SCE employees in April sued in federal district court in the District of Columbia to block a new Obama administration regulation that they claimed would create additional job competition (79 DLR A-4, 4/24/15).

The court in May rejected the workers’ request for a preliminary injunction to block implementation of the regulation while the lawsuit proceeds (100 DLR A-3, 5/26/15). The Homeland Security Department final rule provides work authorization to the H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B workers who are on the path to permanent residency (36 DLR A-3, 2/24/15).

The lawsuit claims that many foreign nationals on H-4 visas, like their spouses, will work in the information technology industry. According to court documents, summary judgment motions are due Sept. 11.