Infosys admits to 'civil violations' in US

Last Updated 31 October 2013, 17:33 IST

Though Infosys settled the visa case for $34 million, the company agreed that it committed civil violations by failing to maintain accurate I-9 records for many of its foreign nationals in the US in 2010 and 2011 as required by law.

“During that period, Infosys did not accurately complete a Form I-9 Employee Eligibility Verification Form for many persons that it employed in the United States and did not properly maintain I-9 forms, including a widespread failure to update and re-verify the employment authorisation status of a substantial percentage of its foreign national employees,” the settlement document, a copy of which is available with Deccan Herald, said.

Infosys on Wednesday agreed to pay $34 million to resolve all allegations with the US authorities.

The allegations regarding visa misuse and fraud said that Infosys submitted “invitation letters” to US Consular officials that contained materially false representations regarding the true purpose of a B-1 visa holder’s travel in order to deceive US Consular officials and/or customs and border protection officers and secure entry of the visa holder into the United States.

That apart, Infosys is also going to retain, at its own expense, an independent third-party auditor or auditing firm to review and report on its I-9 compliance.
“One year from the date this agreement is signed, and for one additional year, the auditor shall analyse a random sample of not less than 4 per cent of Infosys’s existing United States workforce to determine if the I-9 forms associated with the workforce have been completed and maintained in full compliance with US laws,” the agreement added.

When asked if this level of heightened scrutiny would hit the performance of the company or deter onboarding of new clients, an Infosys spokesperson said, “Infosys voluntarily agreed to the $34 million settlement, for which the company had already taken a reserve of $35 million, to resolve the allegations.

The settlement is focused on historical I-9 paperwork errors from 2010-2011 that Infosys began correcting before the investigation began. There is no evidence that the I-9 paperwork violations allowed any Infosys employee to work beyond their visa authorisation.”

The company has agreed to pay $5 million to the Homeland Security Investigations for civil or administrative forfeiture; $5 million to the Department of State for civil or administrative forfeiture and $24 million to the United States Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas. The payment is to be made within thirty days of the execution of the agreement.

(Published 31 October 2013, 17:33 IST)

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