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HCL accused of wage theft, underpaying H-1B workers by at least $95m a year


I work at a US immigration law firm. There is no requirement to recruit for US workers for the H-1B. That's why it is limited both in time (3 years, renewable once) and in the number of visas. The recruitment requirement is for employer sponsorship for permanent residence (a green card) through the labor certification process. BTW, there is no current backlog on green cards through the labor certification process. If the employer is willing to try it and all the hoops get successfully jumped through, it could be completed in under a year.

The H-1B does include a requirement to pay the prevailing wage for that job in that location. The prevailing wages are actually quite reasonable for technical positions. These wages are public information and, following dotcom era abuses of the system, employers can be and often are audited to ensure they actually pay them. But employers can still game this in at least three ways. First by substituting a lower paying job title than what the person will actually be doing. The second is by claiming the position has a lower experience level than is actually required (there are 4 wage levels for each job based on the required experience). The third way is the most egregious and frankly should not be allowed, but employers can claim that the position is only part time or that they use a 35 hour week and then make the person work full time.

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