Home/ Companies / News/  HCL Tech evading H1-B visa rules in the US: Report

Noida-based IT services firm HCL Technologies Ltd has been evading H1-B visa rules in the US, according to a report by Economic Policy Institute (EPI). 

HCL is India’s third-largest IT outsourcing firm by revenue, generating more than 60% of its $11 billion in revenue in the US.

“We estimate HCL is saving at least $95 million per year by illegally underpaying its H-1B employees. That’s $95 million in stolen wages from H-1B workers every year—white-collar wage theft on a grand scale—which has been facilitated by negligent labor standards enforcement in the H-1B program," the report said.

"Victims include not only the H-1B workers but also the U.S. workers who are either displaced or whose wages and working conditions degrade when employers are allowed to underpay skilled migrant workers with impunity," the report stated.

EPI analysis of an internal HCL document, released as part of a whistleblower lawsuit against the firm, claims that large-scale illegal underpayment of H-1B workers is a core part of the firm’s competitive strategy.

The report further stated that “data from the company’s internal document suggests the firm underpays H-1B workers in virtually all jobs across all business lines."

A company spokesperson, however, said in a statement, “HCL Technologies is strictly compliant with all relevant rules and regulations and is committed to pay wages to all employees in accordance with applicable laws."

Last year, HCL ranked eighth in total H-1B approvals with about 1,405 new visas and 2,801 visa renewals. Over the past dozen years, HCL consistently has been one of the largest H-1B employers, receiving a total of 31,000 H-1B visa approvals from USCIS since 2009, the report said.

The H-1B visa program is the largest US temporary work visa program for high-skilled workers, with approximately 600,000 visa holders currently in the US. The H-1B visa authorizes firms to employ foreign college-educated workers under specific conditions.

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Updated: 13 Dec 2021, 01:13 PM IST
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