What is an H-1B visa?
The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa enabling American companies to employ foreign professionals for highly specialized occupations, especially in science and technology, for specified periods.
America's contentious H-1B program
- Originally designed to bring in a small number of foreign skilled workers, the H-1B work programme is criticized for leading to foreign immigrants replacing American workers in thousands of jobs.
- According to some policy experts, American companies prefer foreign immigrants, who work for cheaper wages.
- Global outsourcing firms provide their American client companies with foreign skilled workers from their global networks.
Over 80% H-1B visas go to Indians
Statistics indicate that over 80% of the H-1B visas issued by the United States in 2015 were issued to workers in the information technology field, almost exclusively from India.
250 Disney employees receive pink slips
- 250 IT employees working with Disney were told that they would be laid off, as part of a program to restructure the company.
- The fired employees included several long-time employees and top performers.
- While Disney claimed that the restructuring was planned in order to boost innovation, employees said it was a cost-cutting move planned by outsourcing firms based in India.
Fired workers allege misuse of H-1B visas
- Disney's former employees complained against the firm for conspiring with outsourcing firms and replacing them with cheaper Indian workers on H-1B visas.
- Similar reports surfaced when American firms Southern California Edison and Toys 'R' Us brought in foreign workers to replace American workers.
- Following the complaints, the Department of Labor and other federal agencies initiated investigations into the matter.
Disney, consulting companies sued over H-1B row
- Two of Disney's former employees Leo Perrero and Dena Moore filed lawsuits against Disney, Cognizant and HCL Inc.
- The lawsuit claims Disney conspired with the outsourcing firms to illegally replace its workers with cheaper immigrants on temporary H-1B visas.
- Cognizant and HCL Inc., accused of misusing the H-1B program, denied the allegations, claiming that they had complied to US visa regulations.