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L&T Infotech faces H-1B visa fraud allegations

Last Updated: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 13:31

New York: A former employee of L&T Infotech, has joined a sexual discrimination lawsuit against the company seeking USD 100 million in compensation and has alleged in an amended court complaint that a H1-B immigration visa fraud was "rampant" in the company.

New Jersey resident Nanda Pai has joined the sexual discrimination class action lawsuit filed by former L&T Infotech employee Deepa Shanbhag alleging that she too was discriminated against because of her gender and was told to choose between her work and family when she got pregnant.

Shanbhag and Pai are seeking USD 100 million in compensation for punitive damages from Indian conglomerate Larsen & Toubro and its New Jersey-based subsidiary L&T Infotech.

In a 27-page amended complaint filed in the US District Court in New Jersey, Pai has made detailed allegations that L&T made "false statements to the US government" for getting H1-B visas for its employees in and around 2008 and made her a "scapegoat" when the "substantive shortcomings and documentary discrepancies" were revealed in an audit.

When reached for comment, L&T Infotech in Mumbai declined to comment on the matter as it is subjudice.

H-1B work visa is used by companies to employ workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields, such as scientists, engineers or computer programmers, in the US.

Pai alleged that her signatures were forged in some documents, which would have made her look responsible for the "massive immigration fraud."

Pai said the company misrepresented to the US government in its visa applications the wages it paid to its employees and did not follow the rules when filing documentation for green card for its workers.

"Pai was increasingly concerned and distressed at the immigration fraud which appeared to be rampant in the workplace," the complaint said, adding that she was "advised to stay silent" when she raised the issue of the immigration fraud and the subsequent "massive coverup operation" with her employers.

Pai alleged the company falsified applicants' experience while applying for extension of the H1-B visas in order to avoid payment of higher wages, provided false job descriptions in the H1-B applications to the US government, submitted false information in applications for L1-B work visas and gave incorrect job description of its employees in connection with their green card applications.

The company is also blamed for "circumventing the H1-B visa quotas under federal law by applying for and obtaining business visas based on false representations to the US government," the lawsuit claimed.


First Published: Friday, April 6, 2012 - 13:31
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