Toys ‘R’ Us and NYLIC Using Temporary Visa Program to Train Foreign Workers Here, Then Move Jobs Overseas

LBN’s Emily Collins reports that a New York Times investigation has turned up some companies who are abusing the H-1B temporary visas. The Times reports that Toys ‘R’ Us has been using the visa program to bring foreigners to the United States to study the work performed by various Toys ‘R’ Us employees. The Times story tells of an accountant who had and Indian woman shadowing her for four weeks, even into the ladies room. There were a number of other such visitors at Toys ‘R’ Us for a number of weeks. Then the foreign visitors went back home with detailed manuals they had produced, and Toys ‘R’ Us moved those jobs overseas, laying off 67 American workers.

The foreigners were provided by Tata Consultancy Services (TCS). TCS had been hired by the toy company to handling the outsourcing of the jobs in question to India. The H-1B visa program is a special program that has some requirements, as described by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. In addition to having an employer-employee relationship with the company petitioning for the visa, the job in question must qualify as a “specialty job” by meeting one of several criteria. The typical criterion is that the foreign worker must have at least a bachelor’s degree. An employer petitioning to bring in H-1B workers must sign a declaration that the foreign workers “will not adversely affect the working conditions” of Americans or lower their wages.

Toys ‘R’ Us and New York Life Insurance Company maintain that they are not disregarding the law. However, nothing so far reported in the news suggests that the workers brought in by the companies mentioned in the New York Times story possessed special talents and abilities.

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