US probes TCS, Infosys for alleged H1-B visa violations

The US government has opened an investigation against Indian outsourcing companies, Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys, for possible violations of visa rules for technology workers, the so-called H1-B visas, according to a media report.

The United States Labor Department is looking into claims that some retrenched technology workers with an electric utility were made to train expatriate employees of the two firms only to be replaced by them, says a report in the New York Times.

Some of the 500 technology workers who were recently by Southern California Edison, an electric utility, have claimed that they were made to train replacements brought in on H-1B visas from India by the two companies.

Senators Richard Durbin (Democrat, Illinois), and Jeff Sessions (Republican, Alabama) announced the start of the investigation.

The NYT had earlier reported that hundreds of employees at entertainment giant Walt Disney were laid off and replaced with Indians holding H1-B visas.

In October last year, Walt Disney asked about 250 of its employees that they would be laid off and many of their jobs were transferred to immigrants on H1-B visas brought in by an outsourcing firm based in India, the report had stated.

The labour department is investigating whether Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys for "possible violations of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility Southern California Edison," the New York Times said.

Shares of TCS fell 2 per cent, while Infosys was down 0.99 per cent at 3 pm today.