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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.

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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.

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Comments
8

They dodged the bullet this time, but they won't keep that up. Eventually the truth does out, and the changes come. The whole thing is a nasty scam, and borders upon slavery. Paul Jacobs and his minions at Qualcomm might take this as a warning to stop abusing that visa system. It could get very nasty, and could cost Qualcomm shareholders some major bucks. Are you listening Qualcomm holders? Nah, very unlikely.

Aug. 21, 2012

The companies using H-1B programs most heavily are big enchiladas on the political scene: Qualcomm, Microsoft, etc. So the H-1B users have big clout, no doubt extending to the courts and DOJ. I hope the U.S. government will seriously look into obvious visa abuses, but I wonder. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 22, 2012

I kind of doubt if QCOM gets in any trouble over this. I think it's really hard to prove violations of the visa system. Any job description can always be tailored so specifically that it's basically written for one person (the person they want to hire) and anyone else is "unqualified".

Aug. 21, 2012

There is no doubt that H-1B violators are very clever. They know how to obfuscate the facts in obscure legalese. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 22, 2012

Apparently in Alabama and certain other states with similar laws, an employer can harass, demote, can even call and give death threats to their employees.

You need to understand who is doing the legal dancing in this. InfoSys is still paying Jay Palmer. Why? So they can call him an employee. If they fire him, then they are liable for any death threat or other harassment or character assassination.

Any modern judge should know, since Nuremburg, that following the letter of the law is no excuse. This man's ability to even walk in public was, according to the allegations, threatened by his employer. And that is worth Defending, and if found to be true, should require some legal remedy.

InfoSys is a public corporation, if they didn't make the threats, then they have nothing to fear, and they should have no reason what-so-ever to ask for a dismissal.

And in fact should be glad to have the case heard before a jury.

It is InfoSys that fears the public knowing the truth of their Visa System abuse.

Aug. 25, 2012

There is a criminal investigation of Infosys going on in Texas. Texas is a corporation-dominated state, like Alabama. But maybe there will be justice. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 25, 2012

Don, didn't Palmer come on here and comment last time??????

Aug. 25, 2012

Yes, Palmer posted a comment to one of my two H-1B columns. I don't remember if it was the first or second one. Best, Don Bauder

Aug. 25, 2012

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