More than 80% of Infosys’ I-9 forms for the years 2010 and 2011 contained substantive violations, the United States department of justice has stated in its website. I-9 forms are part of employee eligibility documents that are required for work permits in the US.
“Ultimately, these actions by Infosys cost American jobs and, simultaneously, financially hurt companies that sought to follow the laws of this nation. Companies that misuse the visa process can expect to be scrutinised and held accountable,” David M Marwell, special agent in charge of homeland security investigations in Dallas, was quoted as saying in the website.
The release, issued by the United States department of justice on October 30, said, “According to court documents, the government alleged instances of Infosys circumventing the requirements, limitations, and governmental oversight of the H-1B visa programme by knowingly and unlawfully using B-1 visa holders to perform skilled labor in order to fill positions in the United States for employment that would otherwise be performed by US citizens or require legitimate H-1B visa holders.”
As part of the settlement, Infosys will be paying $34 million to various government agencies, which will include $5 million to homeland security investigations for civil or administrative forfeiture, a similar amount to the department of state and $24 million to the US attorney’s office for the eastern district of Texas.
Meanwhile, media reports in the US have suggested that Jack Palmer, a former employee of the company in the US, could receive as much as $5 million and up to $8 million as compensation. However, FE couldn’t immediately confirm the development as Palmer did not respond to an email query at the time of going to press.
Palmer had accused the company of harassing him for speaking against visa abuses, but the court threw out his case. Last year it was a major boost for Infosys, with regard to employee harassment cases, as it was cleared of any wrongdoing in the Palmer case by a US court in August 2012.
However, while announcing the settlement on Wednesday, Infosys had said that it denies and disputes any claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage, or immigration abuse.
“Those claims are untrue and are assertions that remain unproven. The company’s use of B-1 visas was for legitimate business purposes and not in any way intended to circumvent the requirements of the H-1B programme. Only .02%