A class action lawsuit led by two former Walt Disney IT department employees against Walt Disney World, HCL America Inc. (HCLA) and Cognizant Technology Solutions (CTS) recently was dismissed by the United States District Court in Orlando, Florida. The two former employees accused Disney, HCLA, and CTS of fraud and misuse of the H-1B visa program.
The former employees claimed that about 200 to 300 U.S. Disney employees were laid off by Disney and were instructed to train H-1B workers in the 90 days prior to their separation date. According to the complaint, if the employees refused to train the H-1b workers, Disney would not give them their bonus and severance pay. The complaint also charged HCLA and CTS, in collusion with Disney World, with falsely attesting that the labor conditions of U.S. workers would not be adversely affected and that hiring the H-1B employees would not result in the displacement of U.S. workers.
The federal judge rejected the class action lawsuit, finding that "none of the allegedly false statements put at issue in the complaint are adequate" to sustain the former employees’ case. However, the judge did not entirely reject the former employees’ argument that US workers had been adversely affected by the lay-off. The judge left open the opportunity for the former employees to amend their complaints and try again.