HCL Paid Less Salary To H1B Employees? Rs 700 Crore H1B Malpractice By HCL?
The Economic Policy Institute (EPI) said in a report that HCL Technologies underpaid its employees holding H-1B visas by up to $95 million in the last few years.
For its part, HCL said that it is “strictly compliant with all relevant rules and regulations and is committed to pay wages to all employees in accordance with applicable laws.”
Lawsuit Against HCL
The report which made the allegations were compiled based on the EPI, a non-profit American think tank’s analysis of an internal company document.
The document is part of a whistleblower lawsuit against the Indian company and accuses it of paying its visa holders lower wages than similarly employed US workers.
The findings reveal that the large-scale illegal underpayment of H-1B workers is a core part of the company’s competitive strategy.
Placed At Big Corpos
It further specifies that the underpaid workers were placed by HCL as subcontractors in well-known corporations like Disney, FedEx, Google, and others.
Also victimised are American workers who are “either displaced or whose wages and working conditions degrade” when their employers get away with underpaying skilled migrant workers.
One such example is of Oracle experts with H-1B visas who get paid $55,000 less than US workers.
Breaking The Law
The internal documents also revealed that HCL pays U.S. citizens 13% to 64% more than H-1B workers in five areas of IT talent.
This is a violation of the H-1B program which requires employers to pay the visa holders the same wages as local workers.
The rule is in place to ensure that American job opportunities are not lost to immigrants since they can be paid less.
It also means protection of migrant workers from exploitation.
Letting Companies Get Away
The report holds wider implications for not just HCL but also other major outsourcers with similar business models.
It slammed the US Department of Labor (DOL) for its inaction towards proper enforcement of wage rules.
One such shortcoming is an outsourcing loophole which treats contractor hires differently from direct hires.
He minced no words when saying that HCL is not making a product, rather it is reselling labor.
Customers turn to HCL for staffing solutions because they know that they are “getting lower cost labor.”
Images of internal HCL Technologies documents showing wage comparisons can be seen here.