Location Risk Monitoring

Visa Violation Charges against Companies: How to Minimize the Risk of Legal Implications

Written by Lakshmi Nair

Earlier this year, the US government opened an investigation against 2 of the largest IT firms specializing in outsourcing and offshoring for possible violations of H-1B visa rules. The Department of Labor opened the investigation against Tata Consultancy Services (TCS) and Infosys for violating of rules for visas for foreign technology workers under contracts they held with an electric utility, Southern California Edison. There were claims that the power company had laid off hundreds of their workers to be replaced with immigrants on temporary work visas brought in by Indian firms.

After months of investigation, these companies have been cleared of all charges and the US government has confirmed that they have been compliant with the visa rules outlined in the outsourcing contracts. In light of this incident, it is an important reminder to all companies that leverage global talent to ensure that they are in compliance with all laws pertaining to them and that government. The costs of being out of compliance extend beyond monetary fines, to include irreparable damage to the company’s reputation, a drop in customer confidence, and loss of employee loyalty.

There are several measures that can be taken to tap into global talent without the legal repercussions of visa violations. It is always advised to consult your internal legal team to ensure that all the necessary documents are in place and these documents are compliant with the government of the particular country.

It is also important to implement some form of proactive, ongoing monitoring of immigration laws in the countries from which you leverage talent, to ensure that your internal policies, processes and practices are in compliance with the latest rules and regulations.

Being able to adapt to changing environments and incorporating those changes effectively will enable a company to ensure sustainable business standards and ethics.

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