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Greg Siskind on Immigration Law and Policy

IT Firm Indicted for Benching H-1B Employees

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It's illegal to bring over H-1B workers and then only pay them as work for them becomes available. I don't know the specifics of this case, but as a general rule, we need to do more enforcing of existing law - as appears to be happening in this case - before we come up with more and more restrictions on both good faith and bad actor employers. As an aside, this type of practice really annoys me because I have employer clients that are genuinely desperate for certain types of highly skilled workers unavailable in the workforce (think rural communities with no doctors as a prime example) who end up holding the bag when the H-1B cap gets hit. There are some (mostly IT staffing company) employers who are hoarding H-1B visas and then either benching workers when they don't have enough work to keep them busy or simply using up H-1B numbers and then not bringing over the approved workers.

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  1. Legal and no longer waiting's Avatar
    This is a classic situation when the most effective solution is not more regulation or procecution, but rather deregulation. Just make H1 transferable by the employee in a way EAD works, and the incentive to apply for more H1s will be gone. Actually, in many cases, the incentives to have a consulting business with a bunch of H1 employees will be gone.
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