New York fines Infosys $1million for work visa violations

New York fines Infosys $1million for work visa violations

BENGALURU: Infosys has reached a $1 million settlement with New York state for failure to compensate hundreds of workers brought on work visas and to pay applicable taxes in the state. New York attorney general Eric T Schneiderman said on Friday that the settlement resolves whistleblower claims that Infosys, in the course of providing outsourcing services, routinely brought foreign IT personnel into New York to perform work in violation of the terms of their visas.

“We will not permit companies to violate our laws in order to undercut New York workers. My office is committed to ensuring that our state’s labour marketplace is fair, competitive and transparent for all,” said Schneiderman.

Infosys in a statement said its agreement concludes the state of New York’s investigation relating to the amount of taxes the company paid in 2010-2011 without any criminal or civil charges being filed.

“While this investigation centered on alleged paperwork errors, the company committed no wrongdoing and denies all allegations made in this regard. This settlement relates to legal issues already resolved under the 2013 settlement with the US department of justice, and was reached by both parties to avoid protracted litigation. Infosys maintains robust policies and procedures to ensure adherence with all applicable regulations and laws. Infosys will continue to focus on boosting American innovation, hiring American workers and better serving our valued customers across the United States,” the company said.

Four years ago, Infosys agreed to pay $34 million (Rs 215 crore) in penalties to settle the alleged visa fraud and I-9 paperwork errors that were subject to investigation from the US justice department.

The attorney general’s investigation said Infosys provided instructions to employees on B-1 visas regarding how to deceive US consular officials and/or customs and border protection officers. “This conduct included creation of a `Do’s and Don’ts’ memorandum that was provided to Infosys employees entering the United States that explicitly instructed such employees to avoid talking about the work they were doing,” it said.