Several tech firms like Google, Apple in the US are using the H1B visa to pay the low wages to migrant workers


A report in the United States claims that several companies in the country like Google, Apple, Microsoft, use the H1B visa program to pay the migrant workers well below the average market wages.

The report that is released by the Economic Policy Institute claims that several H1B visa employers which are in top-30 such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, Amazon, are taking advantage of this program and are paying a less wage, lower than the average pay scale. This report is written by Daniel Costa and Ron Hira and titled ‘H1B visas and prevailing wage levels’.

It also says that around 60% of H1B visa positions certified by the US DOL(Department of Labor) are assigned with minimum wage levels. The report also claims that even though the H1B visa allows this, DOL has the authority to modify it and is not changing it.

In the 2019 visa program, around 53,000 employees are availing the H1B visas, while the top 30 H1B availing companies account for 389,000 H1B petitions. Also, half of the H1B employers are currently using an outsourcing business model in which they provide the staff to third party clients instead of employing the staff in their offices.

H1B is a non-immigrant temporary work visa on which the US companies can hire college graduates from across different countries, including fashion models. According to a survey, around 500,000 immigrant workers are currently employed in the USA under an H1B visa.

The report also claims that the employers who employ the H1B visa employees in their own offices, rather than to a third-party client, are being assigned with Level-1 and Level-2 which has the lowest wage levels in the fiscal year 2019. This list consists of big firms like Qualcomm, Google, Facebook, etc.

Also, these firms which hire the employees directly, are also hiring them on a contract basis via outsourcing firms. Here is a typical example of how these firms assign various levels to H1B employees. Microsft has assigned 35% into level-1(lowest), 42% into level-2. These two levels account for 77% of the employees. Microsoft has categorized 18% to level-3 wage(median level) and only just 3% to level-4, which is above the average base pay level. Amazon also does similar categorization, with 47% of its H1B employees to level-1, 36% to level-2. Apple, Google, Facebook also follows the same trend but slightly better.

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