Disney World sued for replacing American workers with Indians

Washington, Jan 26 (IANS) Disney World has been hit by two class action suits accusing it and two outsourcing firms of conspiring to replace workers with less costly foreign ones using H-1B visas, mostly from India.

The lawsuits were filed in a Tampa Florida federal court by Leo Perrero and Dena Moore, who were among 250 Disney tech workers laid off from their jobs at Walt Disney World in Orlando in January 2015, according to Orlando Sentinel.

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Perrero and Moore said they were told they had 90 days to train their replacements with foreign workers with H-1B visas for high-skilled workers. If they didn’t agree, they weren’t eligible for bonuses or severance packages.

Defendants include HCL Inc and Cognizant Technologies, two outsourcing companies, known for submitting a high volume of H-1B petitions each year, according to CNN Money.

The Congress has set a quota of 85,000 H-1B visas each year.

“These lawsuits are based on an unsustainable legal theory and are a wholesale misrepresentation of the facts,” Disney said in a statement.

The company said it hired more than 100 people back into other roles and offered Moore another position at comparable pay.

Noting that hundreds of employers use H-1B visas, Disney said it complies with all applicable employment laws.

The lawsuits were brought by attorney Sara Blackwell, who also brought the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission filings on behalf of former Disney workers.

Blackwell said Disney was not the only company using outsourcing firms to hire immigrants to replace American workers.

But they’re one of the first to be caught: Typically, companies require employees to sign a severance agreement preventing them from suing or speaking out about the firm. She said some companies will offer as much as $20,000.

“Disney didn’t have that. They failed to put the ‘You can’t sue, you cant talk’ clause,” Blackwell told CNNMoney.

The New York Times, which first reported the news, said Perrero spent his final months at Walt Disney World in Orlando training a temporary immigrant from India to do his work.

He still hoped to find a new position in the vast entertainment company, it said.

But Perrero discovered that despite his high performance ratings, he and most of the other 250 tech workers Disney dismissed would not be rehired for at least a year, and probably never.

A furore over the layoffs in Orlando last January brought to light many other episodes in which American workers said they had lost jobs to foreigners on H-1B visas, and had to train replacements as a condition of their severance, the Times said.

9 Comments

  1. The foreign laborers must be processed by verifying the authenticity of their qualifications, experience, job description of their designation etc. Anyone who enters USA on H1-B visa must be paid minimum of $120,000 so that American workers will not be replaced by cheap labour. Workers come with fancy designation that matches the “Highly Skilled” category, but work on minimum skilled jobs for almost half the pay that US workers get. A four year Engineering degree from a reputed University in the US costs Rs.1.5 crore. Most US students are struggling to repay their student loans due to unemployment or under-employment with low salary. The abuse of H1-B visa must be stopped. All US workers should unite and call for total ban on H1-B visas.

    • As you have stated, the visa drama has replaced a lot of qualified U.S. residents from the work force for half salary, Indian candidates are taking the seat. Many other class actions suits will be coming in the days ahead.

  2. “the minimum pay of $120K will also prevent the “Pracharaks” to enter this country. ” responds Nancy

    Well, the prachaaraka that you are referring to, doesn’t travel with H1B visa!! He travels as the head of state, not as a ‘skilled labor’. Cut down your beef consumption to follow this simple logic.

    • Ha Ha Ha. All the top Lawyers and Judges in the world are Beef Eaters. Stop your dubious logic. The pracharaka I was referring to is already in the US. He needs to eat some to keep his logic straight.

        • Beef or padengi salai. Output is the same next morning. – Dronappa

          Aah! There – you have asked the Billion $ question!

          So, why the beef with beef, Dronu saaru? 😉 Who will educate your RSS ಕುಧ್ಯ ಲಂಗಸ್/ಚಡ್ಡಿಸ್?

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