Lawsuit against Infosys turns light on B-1 visa
B-1 'visitor' visa may be playing an increasing role in the IT industry, according to the suit
Computerworld - Indian software giant Infosys Technologies has been sued by an employee who says he refused to help the outsourcer get temporary B-1 visas for some workers.
To date, the B-1 visa hasn't played a prominent role in the long-running H-1B visa debate, but its role may change due to the lawsuit filed by Jack 'Jay' Palmer, an Infosys employee since 2008.
B1 business visas are intended for short-term uses, such as consulting with business associates, attending a business convention, settling an estate, negotiating a contract, or to install, service and repair commercial and industrial machinery.
According to B-1 visa rules, the holder can't be paid by a U.S. employer, and immigration attorneys note that it isn't intended to be used in ways that are similar to the H-1B visa. That's where Palmer's lawsuit comes in.
According to the lawsuit, Palmer, a principal consultant for the Infosys, attended a meeting in Bangalore in March, 2010 where Infosys management discussed ways "to 'creatively' get around the H-1B limitations."
The lawsuit, filed late last month, alleges that Infosys was sending workers holding B-1 visa to customer sites. Unlike H-1B visa rules, holders of B-1 visas are paid by the foreign entity and federal and state income taxes aren't withheld. Among the claims in the lawsuit, therefore, is that customers were overbilled for labor costs for these employees.
When Palmer was asked to write a letter stating "that the employee was coming to the United States for meetings rather than to work at a job," he contacted Infosys' HR department which "confirmed that Infosys' foreign employees could not work in the United States on B-1 visas."
Palmer refused to write the letter.
Following his refusal, Palmer contends that he was threatened and harassed, receiving telephone "calls just hoping he'd die, 'you need to keep your mouth shut and leave us alone' - stuff of that nature," said his attorney, Kenneth Mendelsohn, who's based in Montgomery, Ala. The lawsuit also says he has had to "endure racial taunts or slurs, including being called 'a stupid American' and criticized for being a Christian."
There were also issues with pay, expense reimbursement and hours alleged in the lawsuit. Palmer also charged that the company failed to act on his complaint to its internal whistleblower team.
Palmer, an Alabama resident, filed the lawsuit in Lowndes County Circuit Court in the state. According to his resume, Palmer's job at Infosys involves account and program management and he received the "prestigious Infosys Actionize" award in second quarter of 2010. He continues to work for Infosys.
Mendelsohn said that authorities have been told about the threats, though he declined to disclose the identity of the agencies that were contacted. He is still awaiting Infosys' response.
- H-1B loophole may help California utility offshore IT jobs
- H-1B applications surge to 172,500, twice the cap
- U.S. hits H-1B cap with 'high number' of petitions
- Durbin warns Republicans standalone H-1B hike plan will fail
- Offshore firms took 50% of H-1B visas in 2013
- H-1B visas produce net IT job boost, trade group says
- Gates sees software replacing people; Greenspan calls for more H-1Bs
- Use of H-1B alternative skyrockets
- GOP presses ahead on H-1B, green cards with vague, muddy statement
- 5 reasons why your IT job search is getting harder
Changing the Way Government Works: Four Technology Trends that Drive Down Costs and Increase Productivity
This paper discusses four technology-based approaches to improving processes and increasing
productivity while driving down department and agency costs.
- Path Selection Infographic Path Selection Infographic
- Hyperconvergence Infographic A wide range of observers agree that data centers are now entering an era of "hyperconvergence" that will raise network traffic levels faster...
- Preparing Your Infrastructure for the Hyperconvergence Era From cloud computing and virtualization to mobility and unified communications, an array of innovative technologies is transforming today's data centers.
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users?
- On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy... All Gov't Legislation/Regulation White Papers | Webcasts