Measures proposed to prevent misuse of H-1B US visas

A number of lawmakers in the United States have proposed revisions to laws governing US visas in order to allow former employees to challenge their layoffs following a number of American workers being replaced by immigrants from nations such as India via work visas such as the H-1B US visa, according to a media report released yesterday.

The New York Times claims that although corporate executives have been very outspoken when it comes to defending their employment practices, outsourcing firms have been considerably quieter. Now, a number of employees are being asked to speak out against them, even in spite of severance agreements that banned them from expressing any criticism of their former employers.

The non-disparagement agreements have been questioned by many leading names in Congress. It is common practice for companies to use such agreements in the United States, but it can prevent workers who have lost their jobs from complaining about the possible misuse of US visas intended for temporary workers. Alabama Republican Jeff Sessions, the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration chairman, together with the likes of the second highest ranking Democrat in the Senate, Illinois Senator Richard Durbin, want revisions made to US visa laws to allow former employees to challenge their layoffs.

Connecticut Democrat Senator Richard Blumenthal says he has heard from many workers who fear retaliation if they speak out against the dubious hiring practices of their former employers, while Rutgers University’s Professor Hal Salzman says that H-1B and other such temporary US visas have been used to replace tens of thousands of American workers in the last five years.