Exploited Indian techies get $740K
By Pulkit Sharma
The US had set up the H-1B visa program to hire on a short term basis highly skilled workers not available in America. While most Indian tech firms win contracts based on their quality computing skills and competitive costs and treat their H1B techies well, there are others which exploit Indians at every opportunity. The US Govt has announced huge fines for some such firms.
This misuse by some Indian body shops of the H1B Visas not only harms Americans, but it has a negative affect on skilled Indian techies as well. Many Indian techies sent to USA and Europe by India based IT firms were given only $40,000 a year even as they were being billed out on $80-100,000 per annum. Sadly, some Indian techies and BPO workers working for smaller companies were treated no better than cattle. Some Gurgaon based BPO workers even had their passports taken away once they reached USA. For short term profits, a handful of Indian mafia managers sacrificed a long term healthy working relationship with some Americans and Indians as well.
Regular readers of Techgoss are well aware that a large number of our articles are crowd sourced. People send in tips, photos, story ideas and even articles. Many of our contributors have full times jobs in IT - ITES, and so prefer using a pseudonym. A Tipster (who has asked us not to published her name) wrote in backing up her Tip with evidence
Your website Techgoss had reported in May, 2012, how the US Justice Department had filed a lawsuit against Whiz International LLC, an information technology staffing company in Jersey City, N.J., USA, regarding allegations that the company violated the anti-discrimination provision of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) when it terminated an employee in retaliation for expressing opposition to Whiz’s alleged preference for foreign nationals with temporary work visas.
As soon as Whiz International realized that it was under US Government and public scrutiny, it removed all references to its India Offices in Hyderabad from its website
More hard evidence of some Indians and Indian body shops exploiting Indian techies!
US based Semafor Technology, which was started by Indians and has imported many Indian techies on H1B Visas, on its website says its clients include Bank of America, UBS, Bellsouth, Sprint and other blue chip companies.
Following a US Department of Labor investigation, Semafor Technologies has agreed to pay 73 Indian origin employees $741,288 in back wages.
An investigation conducted by the division’s Atlanta District Office determined that Semafor Technologies failed to pay 54 foreign H-1B guest workers for periods of time during which they were nonproductive because the company did not assign any work. Additionally, five workers were not reimbursed for various processing fees related to their employment, and 14 were not reimbursed for processing fees or paid for periods without assigned work.
Semafor Technologies currently is contacting the affected workers and is paying the wages due under the agreement. Additionally, company President Phani Paladugu has committed to implementing new payroll and time-keeping procedures to ensure future compliance with all applicable provisions of the H-1B program.
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