California

Out of Work: Nearly 50 IT Workers Laid Off, Protest Outsourcing Jobs to India

Heading into a job interview Tuesday morning, former University of California IT worker Robert Harrison is hoping the prospective employer will hire locally.

He is one of 49 workers recently displaced from the university's health records department in a search for cheaper labor that recently took a trip East. 

Based out of Noida, India, HCL Technologies does the same services for less - a move to cut back on costs.

However, the move was challenged outside the UCSF Benioff Children’s Hospital Tuesday with legal representatives referring to the move as "deplorable" and questioning its legality.

Citing possible misuse of foreign visa programs and possible age, nationality and national origin discriminations, legal representation from Gwilliam Ivary Chiosso Cavalli & Brewer is assisting some of the affected workers.

"UCSF is abusing [the H-1B visa program] by bringing in foreign workers when there are qualified American workers already performing this sensitive work which includes handling patient medical records," Gary Gwilliam, a lawyer assisting some of the former employees said in a statement. "This layoff is of major significance and has already received attention from Congress."

While university officials were not available for comment following the protest, it has stated that they are following all laws regarding their hiring process and are searching for job alternatives within the UC system for those laid off.

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