There seems stricter H-1B restrictions are in the offing for IT firms. According to a report, two senators Bernie Sanders and Charles Grassley, have introduced legislation that would bar any company that lays off 50 or more workers from hiring guest workers.
The legislation could potentially affect a large number of technology firms that have laid off large numbers of workers but continue hiring, says the report in ComputerWorld.
The high-tech industry overall has laid off more than 345,000 workers since August 2008, according to the two senators. In a statement released last week, Grassley said "With the unemployment rate over 10%, companies that undertake mass layoffs shouldn't need to hire foreign guest workers when there are plenty of qualified Americans looking for jobs."
Earlier this year, the duo successfully got H-1B hiring restrictions added to the financial bailout bill. In February 2009, US Senate agreed to set restrictions on the hiring of H-1B workers by financial services firms that receive federal bailout funds.
The amendment passed though didn't include a blanket restriction on H-1B use, it did set a series of strict standards on H-1B hiring. Any company receiving TARP funds is automatically considered H-1B-dependent, regardless of the percentage of H-1B workers on its payroll.
The H-1B-dependent designation subjects employers to a number of requirements, including a good-faith effort to hire US workers first.