Hiring tech employees with H-1B visas can be a good way to expand your pool of potential employees – but if you’re not careful, it could cause big legal trouble.
An H-1B visa is a special work visa given to foreign employees in specialty occupations, including those who work in IT. The law says that employees with H-1B visas must be paid wages comparable to other similarly situated employees and must not displace U.S. workers.
Failing to follow those rules can lead to lawsuits. That’s what’s currently happening at Molina Healthcare, Inc., where 18 former IT employees claim they were laid off to make room for workers from India holding H-1B visas.
The suit claims the company showed preferential treatment to Indian employees and that the visa holders were paid roughly 50% less than American employees, ComputerWorld reports.
The outcome of cases like this typically hinge on whether or not the company can prove it couldn’t find any suitable U.S. workers for the positions before turning to the H-1B holders.
According to the law, employers must take “good faith steps” to recruit U.S. workers first.