H-1B whistleblower files new federal lawsuit

04. Oktober 2014
H-1B whistleblower Jay Palmer filed a civil lawsuit Thursday against Infosys, in another bid for damages over allegations of ill-treatment. It is Palmer's second attack in federal court, but it takes a new approach by citing the whistleblower protections in the Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002.

"I am not going away in this matter, the United States has laws to protect whistle blowers and there are several other remedies I have not presented," Palmer said. "Once you help the government, as I did, a person has rights."

Palmer was an employee of Infosys when he triggered a federal investigation into that company's use of B-1 visas, or visitor visas, for work that requires an H-1B visa. Infosys is an India-based IT offshore outsourcing company and one of the largest users of H-1B visas.

The investigation resulted in a $34 million settlement   last year with the U.S. by Infosys, the largest work visa-related settlement of its kind. In settling the lawsuit with the government, Infosys denied any wrongdoing.

Palmer, meanwhile, has been seeking justice for himself. He alleged that he was threatened and harassed for bringing this concern about Infosys' visa use to authorities. Those allegations were first made in a civil lawsuit filed in federal court in Alabama, Palmer's home state. Although the U.S. judge who heard the case said he was troubled by Palmer's allegations, he dismissed the case in 2012, citing the limits of "at will" employment law in Alabama.

Palmer's new lawsuit cites the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, a law that established a series of financial reforms following the collapse of Enron, and other major companies. The suit also cites the anti-retaliation provisions of the False Claims Act, a law used in government fraud cases.