Network World | Some U.S. IT workers who have been replaced with H-1B contractors are alleging discrimination and are going to court. They are doing so in increasing numbers.
There are at least seven IT workers at Disney who are pursuing, or plan to pursue, federal and state discrimination administrative complaints over their layoffs. Another Disney worker, still employed by the firm, has filed a state administrative discrimination complaint in California. These complaints are a first step to litigation.
Separately, there are ongoing court cases alleging discrimination against two of the largest India-based IT services firms, Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services. The federal judges in each of cases have given a green light for the plaintiffs to proceed after rejecting dismissal efforts.
There may be federal interest in examining this issue. The U.S. Department of Justice's Office of Special Counsel for Immigration-Related Unfair Employment Practices was asked by 10 U.S. senators in April to examine the IT layoffs at Southern California Edison (SCE) and to determine whether SCE or its contractors were "engaged in prohibited citizenship status discrimination."
What's being challenged, in sum, is the job replacement system created by the H-1B program. U.S. IT workers, as a condition for their severance, are being made to train H-1B visa-holding contractor replacements to take over their jobs.
The contractors often work for IT services firms that employ large numbers of H-1B workers. Most of these workers are from India and regional countries. This practice of replacing U.S. workers with foreign workers constitutes national origin discrimination, say its critics.