Microsoft responds saying it is laying off those it can most do without, citizens or not.
The upshot — it's not that simple.
Microsoft's answer states that it will indeed layoff a significant number of H-1B temporary work visa holders but that their visiting worker status will not be the primary criterion when it comes to deciding who will stay and who will go.
The statement came in response to a letter from Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley issued last Thursday following Microsoft's (NASDAQ: MSFT) announcement that it will cut as many as 5,000 jobs over the next 18 months.
«I am concerned that Microsoft will be retaining foreign guest workers rather than similarly qualified American employees when it implements its layoff plan. As you know, I want to make sure employers recruit qualified American workers first before hiring foreign guest workers,» Grassley's letter, posted to his website, states.
Microsoft officials said they will respond to Senator Grassley's request for a direct response. However, while the company's initial response is polite, it doesn't say it will meet Grassley's request.
«The initial reductions we announced affect employees in a number of business units, and a significant number of the affected employees are foreign citizens working in this country on a visa,» Microsoft spokesperson Lou Gellos said in a statement e-mailed to InternetNews.com.
«We made the difficult decisions on which jobs would be eliminated based on a detailed assessment of our current and future business opportunities,» Gellos added.
So-called H-1B visas are non-immigrant work visas that let non-citizens with necessary skills work in the U.S. for as long as six years. Microsoft, as well as many other technology firms, has been a big proponent of expanding the number of H-1B work visas available each year.
«The purpose of the H-1B program is to help companies hire foreign guest workers on a temporary basis when there is not a sufficient qualified American workforce to meet those needs. However, the program is not intended to replace qualified American workers,» says a statement released by the Senator along with his letter to Ballmer.
Ключевые слова: H1-B, layoffs, Microsoft, Senate
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