HCL Technologies , a leading global technology firm, were accused of fraudulent acts. The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) stated in a report that in the last few years HCL technologies have underpaid H-1B visa holders by up to $95 million.
It was based on the research and study of an internal company document. It was found that compared to the employed US workers, the H-1B workers were paid lower wages by the company.
The H-1B visa is a temporary work visa. It allows US companies to recruit and hire college-educated migrant workers.
HCL technologies is the top three Indian IT services firm and is also among the top 10 recipients of H-1B visas. . In 2020, HCL was ranked eighth in total H-1B visa approvals with 1405 new visas and 2801 visa renewals.
The victims were not just the H-1B workers but US workers too who were also underpaid. These US workers were either replaced or whose working conditions and wages degrades when the skilled migrant workers with indemnity are underpaid by employers. It was said in the HCL document that was a part of the lawsuit against the firm.
They have violated the H-1B visa law as the visa holders should be paid the same as US workers. Since 2009, they received a total of 31000 H-1B visa approvals from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). There were abuses among H-1B employers as the contractor hires are treated differently than the direct hires.
The report recommended a wider investigation by the Department of Labor, to find out whether the companies are underpaying the H-1B workers and suggest penalties should be important to deter all other companies from doing so.
There have been cases filed against other Indian IT services companies for bringing workers with B-1 visas instead of H-1B.
Nevertheless, these companies claim that their workers are paid at par or higher wages than local workers as they are not available and also fill the gap in skills.