Firm in H-1B case looks to hire only U.S. workers

Peri Software says increased use of U.S. workers leads to a 'marked improvement in client satisfaction'

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Labor Department rules state that "the H-1B employer is not required to recruit U.S. workers, unless it is H-1B-dependent."

McQuade took exception to Leppink's statement, and called it a "gross misrepresentation or overstatement of the facts." He didn't dispute the facts of the case, just the editorializing over a consent decree that had simply outlined the terms of the agreement without comment.

In October, Peri had said it had hired new legal counsel for immigration issues and installed a new management team "to oversee its hiring of H-1B workers."

In a statement at the time, Sarav Periasamy, Peri president and CEO, said the company "is committed to exceeding whatever it takes to ensure that we are in full compliance."

He also said that the company has "also launched a training program in an effort to boost the number of American employees. This will reduce offshore hiring and help Peri become a model for the industry nationally."

McQuade said the company's goal now "is to rely on U.S. workers 100%."

The decision to hire U.S. workers "is not because of the consent order," said McQuade. "The whole strategy to hire all American workers has been in the works at Peri long before the DOL issues surfaced."

And according to Periasamy, said McQuade, "it has been a challenge in finding engineers in America with the right skills for the last 10 years."

The reason for hiring U.S. workers is simple, said McQuade. "Obviously, the workers are happier, more productive when they work in their own country, can be closer to their own family and culture," he said. The company plans to boost its training in the U.S. as part of the effort.

As part of the consent decree, Peri was barred from the H-1B program for one year. The H-1B workers at Peri can continue to work at the firm.

Asked if it was the company's plan not to take on new H-1B workers after the debarment period ends, the spokesman said: "We will have to wait and see the conditions of the marketplace, what the technology challenges we face in developing new and maintaining existing software, hardware or other business solutions. And if American workers have the technical skills and qualifications needed to fill those positions, ideally American workers will have preference over H-1B visa applicants."

Peri lists a number of openings on its Web site, including business objects developer, SAP expertise, mainframe consultant and risk management associate.

Patrick Thibodeau covers SaaS and enterprise applications, outsourcing, government IT policies, data centers and IT workforce issues for Computerworld. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @DCgov, or subscribe to Patrick's RSS feed . His e-mail address is pthibodeau@computerworld.com.

Copyright © 2010 IDG Communications, Inc.

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