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back to article Lawsuit: Infosys abuses visas to discriminate against US staff

A class-action lawsuit filed against IT outsourcing firm Infosys claims that the company is systematically abusing the visa system and actively discriminates against hiring US workers for staff position. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court in Eastern Wisconsin by VMware specialist Brenda Koehler, claims that up to 90 per …

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Anonymous Coward

The entire H1B Visa program needs a serious overhaul. One company worked for now only hires under the H1B Visa program and they do so because according to them, they cannot find the talent. The real reason they cannot find it, they now want to pay 1/4 of what the job takes. So no one will take it for that and they use the lack of finding qualified individuals and interest in the position to use H1B Visas. The penalty under a revised system should all current H1B's are null and void and they are excluded from the program for 10 years.

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Anonymous Coward

Reminds me of a few places over here. Rather than hiring in to the country they outsource. Lets just say that in spite of it costing half as much to outsource the work, it normally took twice as long and came back failing to meet spec, and buggy as hell.

Then again you pay for what you get.

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There are already very high fines for using H1-Bs to undercut prevailing wages.

Unfortunately, they aren't enforced.

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Fines aren't effective anyway. I envisage a system of punishments using sharks and lasers. Make the entire C level staff accountable for once.

There is the talent out there, you just need to pay a suitible wage, any lack of talent in the future is due to students realising they are better off learning something else.

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They were never meant to be enforced since the lobbyest only bribed for enactment and not enforcement.

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Anonymous Coward

Best of luck proving it

But unfortunately it all sounds perfectly plausible given my experience of the company (and they're not the only one). In fact you'd have to be colour blind to ignore the evidence.

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Anonymous Coward

The mouthpiece speaks!

"Infosys is an equal opportunities employer, and we categorically deny Ms. Koehler claims," Infosys spokeswoman Danielle D'Angelo told El Reg.

Says Infosys's token American....

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Happy

Re: The mouthpiece speaks!

"Says Infosys's token American...."

That's token Italian-American woman.

That makes her a "threefer" by my count.

Now if she were a disabled lesbian that would be just about perfect.

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Stop

Check out Wilco and H1B visas for a similar case going on.

I guess there's a lot more out there that have yet to come to light....

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Happy

Re: Check out Wilco and H1B visas for a similar case going on.

what's Jeff Tweedy been up to now?? Or should this be Wipro.....

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Anonymous Coward

Check this out

Hiring manager on LinkedIn with completely anglo name but only South Asian contacts and, gee, no picture. Offers to hire US trainer to train people in a major city. Funny, all the people being trained are from South Asia. The training material is total crap and the training contract states the trainer won't get paid if anyone says anything negative on the evals. Things like "trainer not prepared", or "course does not flow". Let's see, give the trainer crappy, incoherent material on Friday for a Monday course in a city half way across the country and tell a couple of your imported buddies what to write on the eval and bingo ! Newly paying friends are in the country on B-1 and they don't have to pay the trainer. Damn that was easy. Ohp, the trainer wasn't dumb enough to fall for it ... NEXT Trainer Please !

The Visa abuse has become very creative. So, like give them total access to all big data projects. What could go wrong?

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Stop

Not just in the US

There's some fairly similar stories here in Australia of similar practices.

I was knocked back for a position (in Sydney) with a prominent bank. The recruiter was trying to find the most polite way they could to tell me that the reason I didn't get the job was that my name didn't sound like it came from the sub-continent.

A few other recruiters at that time (around 18 months ago) told me that a practice was emerging that once someone from South Asia (India in particular) got into the hiring position that the great majority of new hires were then subsequently also from that part of the world.

Maybe its time to actually get this one researched properly, you could start with the big four banks here in Australia.

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Re: Not just in the US

Standard practice in Brisbane to advertise IT jobs at well below market rates so the visa end-run is in the bag when nobody applies.

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Re: Not just in the US

>Standard practice in Brisbane to advertise IT jobs at well below market rates so the visa end-run is in the bag when nobody applies.

Same where I live as.

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Re: Not just in the US

The other tactic is to advertise for applicants that have a very unusual mix of skills. 3+ years of sewing plush toys and a masters degree in analytical chemistry, exposure to Yak breeding a bonus. And this is for a job supporting a migration from W3.1.1 to XP. They don't have to show that the immigrant applicant has all these skills, but they can reject a local candidate based on them. Lots of companies were using this sort of manipulation after the fall of the Soviet Union when it was easy to get talented Phd's for fast food wages.

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Anonymous Coward

I would like to welcome our American bretheren to the real world. This hash been going on in Britain for the last 15 years.

There was a point where I composed a fake CV of a fake individual, chosing the worst Indian university I could come up with and filling it with an experience trail similar to mine, just in India or outsourcing placements (using failed companies too). I used the spare phone line from NTL for that CV. I applied to a job with both this CV and mine. The spare line rang off the hook. Mine hardly got a contact once in a while. I stopped doing this after a while - it was counterproductive.

It is done at all levels - employer, recruiter, agencies, etc. 90% of the big agencies do it the same way agencies in France get the idea of "get me a white-blue-red please".

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Welcome us? It's been going on here for 20 years.

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Anonymous Coward

Infosys does not discriminate Americans. It discriminates against all employees who are expensive, including Indians. Infosys finds excuses to fire all those who are experienced. It only wants employees who are in complete control of the management and paid less. It lacks complete the middle management level. Irony is that it had to bring in the most experienced person who is already retired.

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Meh

"Infosys does not discriminate Americans. It discriminates against all employees who are expensive, including Indians. Infosys finds excuses to fire all those who are experienced. It only wants employees who are in complete control of the management and paid less. It lacks complete the middle management level. Irony is that it had to bring in the most experienced person who is already retired."

<parsing failure>

And in English?

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Infosys is advertising jobs below market rate because they don't want to pay market rate, and then using the lack of interest to abuse the visa programme to bring in cheap programmers (sorry, "consultants"). Infosys's behaviour is not racist, but miserly.

Clearly the visa programme needs to also take into account the job spec and the offered wage to see if it is a reasonable wage for that job before granting a visa. In addition there is no reason why any company needs to be 90% people on visas, so put in an upper limit, say 25% of department headcount (and reduce that YoY to encourage takeup of local talent.

i.e.:

"Database administrator" -> "Oracle", wage "$30000" => visa request denied due to not offering the job locally at market rate.

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Meh

"Clearly the visa programme needs to also take into account the job spec and the offered wage to see if it is a reasonable wage for that job before granting a visa. I"

As I believe the UK system does.

In fact does not the US Dept of Labor have detailed statistics on exactly what those rates are?

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The US laws say that the job has to pay at least market rate, as defined by the labor statistics people. In addition you have to show that you have attempted to fill the role using citizens or work authorized permanent residents.

The only way I can see to cheat the requirements would be if they advertised a market rate, but negotiated a backroom rate which was lower. The govt doesn't verify what you're actually paying them, just what you say you're going to pay them. I guess that would work until something went wrong.

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Sadly there is an easy way round this.

Advertise either with no salary figure or with a wide band. Ask candidates for their salary expectation, bin all those above the required minimum rate, which will likely be all of them. I have seen this done in a large engineering company in the UK. People get a little optimistic with salary expectations thinking they will get knocked down to something both parties are happy with. Reality is the people are all written off as too expensive for their qualifications leaving the door open to import. They only seemed to do it for the IT roles, the engineers were mostly local, CAD techs were mostly from India.

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Beancounters

Business doesn't want to pay. Now however it appears to have an option of "cheaper" IT through companies like Infosys who have access to resources in cheaper locations. And as discussed, they bring their "cheap" resource onshore to make it look like they're local.

You get what you pay for. Ask RBS how their batch system is these days?

While the beancounters remain in control we're going to see increased use of "cheaper" services, because, you know, "one techie is the same as another". No, seriously Mr Beancounter, they're not. You really do get what you pay for.

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Re: Beancounters

Never, NEVER let a beancounter run your business.

They know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

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Pint

Re: Beancounters

That sounds so much like a BOFH quote.

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Anonymous Coward

Abusing the system?

Ya think?

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Anonymous Coward

Not only Infosys, and not only in the US

Not only Infosys, but also most all other Indian companies such as Wipro etc have been operating the same code of practice in the UK and other parts of the world. It's a race to the bottom.

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Re: Not only Infosys, and not only in the US

Wipro can rot in hell.

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Anonymous Coward

Infosys profits

Revenue US$ 7.39 billion

Profit US$ 1.72 billion

Looks like slave wages really pay off for them with a net profit margin of 23%.

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Re: Infosys profits

They declare their profits in the US ? Amateurs.....

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"One ex–staff member, Jay Palmer, who brought a failed legal action against the firm, claims he was repeatedly called a "stupid American" and saw staff writing "No Americans/Christians" on a board during a meeting."

This bit does not ring true. Who on earth would write "No Americans/Christians" on a board, even if that was their hiring policy?

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I think it's true. Probably done in bad taste. All sort's of sh1t happens where i have worked, like wives coming in and having a go at their husbands and colleagues for cheating, someone has a sh1t in the shower at the bank, the usual ass photocopier trick, drunken wheelchair race round the office at midnight.

Writing that on a whiteboard? Hell that's easy!

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trying too hard....

The woman's legal counsel are trying far too hard not to look racist. People "of Asian descent"? You mean Asians, right? Ones who actually come from Asia? Because Americans of Asian descent don't need visas.

People who try that hard not to look racist generally come off looking very racist....

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