Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys, both Indian corporations that specialize in providing outsourcing services, are reportedly under a Department of Labor investigation. The announcement came from Senator Jeff Sessions and Senator Richard Durbin. Infosys is no stranger to scrutiny, having settled the largest civil visa fraud case in October 2013 for $34 million, after allegedly circumventing federal visa laws and regulations in its efforts to bring foreign workers into the U.S. to work. The latest Department of Labor investigation apparently focuses on news that Southern California Edison, an electric power utility company, laid off more than 500 technology workers and required the terminated employees to train their foreign replacements.
Similarly, Disney has come under fire due to allegations it terminated 250 employees in October 2014, and also had them train their foreign replacements. Both Southern California Edison and Disney face claims that they hired Indian corporations Tata Consultancy Services, Infosys, and HCL America to hire foreign workers to replace American labor. These Indian firms are reportedly using the H-1B visa program in order to bring foreign workers to America. The program has created a highly lucrative business model of bringing in cheaper H-1B workers to substitute for Americans.
Many large corporations, such as Microsoft, Facebook, and Google lobby Congress to increase the annual cap on visas in order to obtain cheaper foreign employees. Meanwhile, Americans lose jobs to these foreign workers and often are not able to secure new employment. That was the case with many of the Disney employees who were laid off in October. Florida Senator Bill Nelson requested in early June that the Department of Homeland Security open an investigation into the “potential misuse” of visas. Sen. Nelson stated “This program was created to help fill jobs when there were labor shortages, not to take jobs away from anyone.”
Employees or former employees who are aware of fraud on the U.S. visa programs can seek relief through the False Claims Act. This Act allows persons with knowledge about how the federal government has been defrauded to file a case on behalf of the federal government. Whistleblowers are protected if retaliation occurs. They also can receive an award varying from 15 percent to 30 percent if their case is successful. Lawyers at Beasley Allen represent whistleblowers in cases nationwide. If you are aware of fraud on the U.S. visa program, or fraud against the federal government in general, then you may have a case under the False Claims Act.
Lawyers at Beasley Allen continue to investigate fraud claims against both the federal and state governments and encourage any person who knows of fraudulent activities to step forward and report the fraud. Potential whistleblowers have the right to not be retaliated against for doing the right thing and reporting the fraud they have witnessed. Persons considering doing the right thing and blowing the whistle are strongly urged to seek legal advice before doing so. That is in their best interest and for their protection. Lawyers in our firm’s Consumer Fraud and Consumer Litigation Section are very familiar with the federal False Claims Act and its state counterparts and can guide whistleblowers through the process. If you have any information and would like to speak with a lawyer, contact Andrew Brashier at Andrew.Brashier@beasleyallen.com, or Archie Grubb at Archie.Grubb@beasleyallen.com, or at 800-898-2034 or 334-269-2343.
Source: New York Times
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