Infosys visa plaintiff will get $5 mn under US settlement news
31 October 2013

A former American employee of Indian information company Infosys Ltd, who had brought a lawsuit against the company, could gain about $5 million in a settlement that Infosys finalised with US authorities yesterday.

 Infosys buildingUnder the formal and full agreement, Infosys will pay $34 million (Rs215 crore) in penalties to settle the visa fraud and paperwork errors, which were investigated by the US justice department.

Jay Palmer had filed the lawsuit in Alabama in February 2011, saying he had been punished and sidelined by Infosys executives after he reported witnessing a widespread visa fraud.

While his lawsuit was dismissed last year by a federal judge, it spurred investigation into Infosys' visa procedures.

Palmer has said the case continues to dominate his life ever since he filed the lawsuit.

He has remained on the company's payroll while cooperating with the federal investigation but he has not been assigned any work nor has he spoken with anyone at Infosys for months, a New York Times report said.                                    

Infosys allegedly sent employees to the US with B-1 visitor visas and not on H1-Bs permits designed for high-tech workers.

The company has agreed to pay $5,000,000 to homeland security investigations for civil or administrative forfeiture and $24,000,000 to the US attorney's office for the eastern district of Texas.

"Infosys failed to maintain accurate I-9 [visa] records for many of its foreign nationals in the United States in 2010 and 2011 as required by law. During that period, Infosys did not accurately complete a Form I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification Form for many persons that it employed in the United States and did not properly maintain I-9 forms, including a widespread failure to update and re-verify the employment authorization status of a substantial percentage," the preamble of the settlement agreement said.

The agreement mentioned several instances where it had issues with Infosys practices. Infosys said the settlement was focused on historical I-9 paperwork errors from 2010-11 that the company began correcting before the investigation began.

Infosys had set aside $35 million for the visa fine, including the attorney's fees, in the September quarter; so there are no further monetary implications for the company from the settlement, an Infosys statement said.

 search domain-b
Infosys visa plaintiff will get $5 mn under US settlement