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US firms like Amazon, Google use H-1B visa to pay low wages to migrant workers: Report


A majority of H-1B employers, together with main American know-how firms like Facebook, Google, Apple and Microsoft, use the programme to pay migrant staff nicely under market wages, a brand new report has claimed.

“Among the top 30 H-1B employers are major US firms including Amazon, Microsoft, Walmart, Google, Apple and Facebook. All of them take advantage of program rules in order to legally pay many of their H-1B workers below the local median wage for the jobs they fill,” stated the report launched by the Economic Policy Institute.

Authored by Daniel Costa and Ron Hira, the report titled “H-1B visas and prevailing wage levels” says 60 per cent of H-1B positions licensed by the US Department of Labor (DOL) are assigned wage ranges nicely under the native median wage for the occupation.

While the H-1B programme guidelines enable this, DOL has the authority to change it, however has not, it stated.

While over 53,000 employers used the H-1B programme in 2019, the highest 30 H-1B employers accounted for multiple in 4 of all 389,000 H-1B petitions accepted by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services in 2019, it stated.


Half of the highest 30 H-1B employers use an outsourcing enterprise mannequin to present employees for third-party purchasers, moderately than using H-1B staff straight to fill a particular want on the firm that applies for the visa, the report stated.

H-1B is a short lived non-immigrant work visa that enables US employers to rent college-educated migrant staff in addition to style fashions from overseas. Nearly 500,000 migrant staff are employed within the United States in H-1B standing.

The report alleged that main US-based know-how firms that rent H-1B staff straight, moderately than contract them out to third-party employers, had vital shares of their licensed H-1B positions assigned as Level 1 or Level 2, the 2 lowest wage ranges in fiscal 2019, each of that are under the native median wage.

“Until now, much of the public discourse and proposals for reforming H-1B have focused on rules that would constrain the practices of these outsourcing companies,” the report stated.

But researches reveal that many firms that make use of H-1B staff straight, together with a few of the largest names within the know-how trade similar to Amazon, Google, Microsoft, Apple, Qualcomm, Salesforce and Uber, pay a big share of their H-1B staff at one of many two lowest wage ranges, Level 1 or Level 2.

In addition, these direct-hire firms additionally rent many H-1B staff on a contract foundation by way of outsourcing firms, it added.

Microsoft, the seventh-largest H-1B employer in 2019, assigned one-third (35 per cent) of its positions on Labor Condition Applications (LCAs) as Level 1 and two-fifths (42 per cent) as Level 2. In whole, Microsoft assigned greater than three-quarters (77 per cent) of its H-1B positions as Level 1 or Level 2, a wage stage under the native median wage.


Microsoft assigned solely 18 per cent of its positions as Level 3 (the median) wage, and a mere three per cent as Level 4, the one above-median wage stage.

Amazon, which seems twice within the H-1B high 30, as “Amazon.com Services” (no. Four among the many largest H-1B employers) and “Amazon Web Services” (no. 27), additionally assigned the overwhelming majority of its H-1B positions at one of many two lowest wage ranges.

According to the report, Amazon.com Services assigned 34 per cent of its H-1B positions as Level 1 and 51 per cent as Level 2, for a complete of 86 per cent of all positions licensed.

Amazon Web Services assigned 47 per cent of its H-1B staff as Level 1 and 36 per cent as Level 2. Combined, Amazon.com Services and Amazon Web Services had 12,428 positions licensed at Level 1 or 2, for a complete of 85 per cent licensed at a wage stage under the median. Only one in eight (1,684) have been licensed at or above the 50th percentile (Level Three or Level 4), it stated.

Apple, eleventh on the checklist, assigned 558 of its H-1B positions (two per cent) as Level 1 and one-third (32 per cent) as Level 2, for a mixed whole of 34 per cent at Levels 1 and a pair of. Apple assigned 32 per cent as Level Three and 34 per cent as Level 4.

Google, ranked the fifth-largest H-1B employer, had 9,085 H-1B positions licensed by DOL in fiscal 2019. It assigned lower than half of 1 per cent of its licensed H-1B jobs as Level 1 and 54 per cent as Level 2. Only 37 per cent of Google’s jobs have been licensed at or above the median wage, the report stated.

Facebook assigned just one place as Level 1 and 10 per cent of its 6,118 whole H-1B positions as Level 2. Twenty-five per cent have been licensed at Level Three and 16 per cent at Level 4. Nearly half (49 per cent) of Facebook’s H-1B positions have been licensed at a wage established by an alternate wage survey, making it troublesome to assess its H-1B wage distribution, the report stated.

Uber, the 29th-ranked H-1B employer in 2019, had 5,708 H-1B positions licensed by the DOL. Less than one per cent have been assigned as Level 1 and simply over half (53 per cent) as Level 2. Just over one-third have been assigned as Level Three and 13 per cent as Level 4.

While Uber had 5,708 H-1B positions licensed by DOL and employed 1,160 H-1B staff in 2019, in the identical 12 months, it made headlines by shedding 400 staff, together with 125 software program engineers, almost half of whom have been “senior” software program engineers. The agency was hiring H-1B staff for a similar kinds of positions for which it was conducting mass layoffs, the report alleged.

The report claims that the highest 30 H-1B employers are the truth is hiring H-1B staff to fill a really massive variety of routine (Levels 1 and a pair of) positions that require comparatively little expertise and strange abilities.

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