Ian Anderson 9:30 a.m., Oct. 22
H-1B "Body Shop" Wins Whistleblower Suit
A federal judge in Alabama yesterday (Aug. 20) dismissed a lawsuit by an American employee of India's Infosys, a so-called "head shop," or placement firm that brings in talent to American companies under the controversial H-1B program. Jack B. Palmer had formerly worked for Infosys, and said he had witnessed Infosys managers making widespread fraudulent use of short-term business visitor visas, known as B-1 visas, to bring workers from India for longer-term projects. Palmer said he was harassed by Infosys when he complained about these practices. The judge said these threats were "deeply troubling," but "this court cannot rewrite state law," according to the New York Times. My column of Feb. 8, 2012, which was one of two covering the H-1B controversy, dealt in part with Palmer's suit.
U.S. employers say there is a shortage of American engineering talent, and they need more liberal avenues to import employees from foreign countries. American engineers claim that there is no such shortage, and companies are just jacking up short-term profits by bringing in the imported workers at lower salaries. The H-1B program has the effect of lowering the general level of wages of engineers, say the Americans. San Diego's Qualcomm is one of the largest users of H-1B engineers. "Federal authorities in Texas are conducting a criminal investigation of Infosys visa practices," says the Times.