New York: The trial in the alleged visa fraud case against software services major Infosys in the US has been postponed by almost a month to September 17.
The trial related to visa fraud allegations levelled by Infosys' former employee Jack Palmer was scheduled to start on August 20 in the US court. According to sources, it has now been rescheduled to begin on September 17.
The reason for the postponement couldn't be immediately ascertained.
When contacted, an Infosys spokesperson said, "While Infosys is eager to air the facts surrounding this case in court, we respect and appreciate Judge Thompson's thorough review of our Motion for Summary Judgment".
Infosys said it had filed the motion because "we think the facts of this case are clear and there is no need for a trial".
"Our position now remains as it has from the beginning: We can state unequivocally that there is absolutely no evidence of any sort of retaliation against or directed at Jay Palmer," the spokesperson said.
In February 2011, Palmer filed a lawsuit in an Alabama court accusing the company of visa fraud saying he was asked by the firm to sign on documents which said workers were heading to the US to have meetings rather than to work there, which he claimed was done to "creatively" overcome H1-B visa caps.
He has also alleged the Indian workers on his team were paid substantially less than an American would have made in the same job.
After mediation efforts between Palmer and Infosys failed, the case was set to go on trial on August 20.
Mediation is a standard procedure before the trial of any civil case and gives an opportunity to settle the matter out of court.
Even as Infosys was preparing to go to trial, the company was struck by another lawsuit, which was filed in a California court by another former employee alleging abuse of US work visas.
The latest lawsuit was filed on August 2 in federal court for the Northern District of California by Satya Dev Tripuraneni, who worked for Infosys for five years in California.
Tripuraneni alleged that he faced harassment and had to quit his job after he reported visa fraud by managers at Infosys.
According to Palmer, when the US State Department began to limit the number of H-1B visas, Infosys began using another type of visa, the B-1.
B-1 business visas are intended for short-term uses, such as consulting with business associates, attending business conventions or negotiating contracts. H-1B visa, on the other hand, is a non-immigrant visa, which allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations.
Infosys has already received a "subpoena" from a Grand Jury in the US District Court for the Eastern District of Texas to provide certain documents and records related to the company's sponsorships for, and uses of, B1 business visas.
A subpoena is a writ issued by a court of justice requiring a person to appear before the court at a specified time.
Palmer also alleged that Infosys had subjected him to harassment and retaliation, which Infosys has so far denied.
Earlier this year, Infosys had informed US market regulator SEC that in the event that "the US government undertakes any action which limit the B1 business visa programme or other visa programme that we utilise, this could materially and adversely affect our business and results of operations".
First Published: Thursday, August 16, 2012, 22:58