Following its broadcast yesterday that opened the eyes of millions of people around the world to Jay Palmer's whistleblower case against Infosys and the visa fraud being investigated by federal authorities, CBS earlier this morning kept Infosys's feet held firmly to the fire of public outrage by airing a second report on "CBS This Morning."
Senior correspondent John Miller's follow-up report included an interview with Sen. Charles Grassley, who has followed the Palmer case closely for months and is pressing for a thorough investigation by the Department of State and the Department of Homeland Security of the B-1 visa program. Grassley said this to Miller about abuse of the program:
If you're bringing them here to work full time, and maybe cheaper labor, it's not only against the law, it's immoral and unjustified and unethical.
Grassley's office in fact issued a press release following the CBS News report yesterday, and in it Grassley made this comment about Palmer:
People had come to me with concerns that the B-1 business visa was being abused by companies and putting American workers at risk. Jay Palmer was the first person to stand up with convincing evidence. It confirmed our fears. Mr. Palmer was being asked to do shady things, and instructed to be creative' and find a way around the H-1B visa program. Mr. Palmer has endured a lot of criticism from fellow employees and foreign workers who fear losing their job or being sent home. I very much appreciate him bringing this problem to the world's attention.
Miller's report yesterday marked the first time Palmer has spoken publicly. I spoke with Palmer's attorney, Kenny Mendelsohn, late yesterday afternoon, and I asked him what prompted him to allow Palmer to finally speak out. His response:
I just realized that the situation is much bigger than me and Jay Palmer, and I felt this was the right forum for it. That was the sole reason. Early on, I was more protective of Jay, but he and I discussed it, and he agreed with me that regardless of how this may affect him on other things, the world needed to know about this. That was it - very simple. With the arrogance of Infosys, continuing to call him a liar, snubbing their nose at the federal government; their head guys going on Indian networks, claiming that they've done nothing wrong and they have a good case; I just thought it was time to let Jay provide some of the information rather than me provide it.
I asked Mendelsohn if he felt there is any likelihood that Infosys would take any action against Jay for speaking publicly, and he said he does not:
No, I don't think Infosys would, if for no other reason than that the vast majority, if not 99 percent of the people in this country, support Jay. If they tried to discipline him or terminate him for this, I think there would be an uproar in the media and in the general public. The other thing is I've looked at everything pretty closely about this, and I don't see anything that Jay has done wrong. So no, I wouldn't expect them to do anything.
Mendelsohn said that following yesterday's CBS report, his office was barraged with calls:
What has been most interesting is that several other people have reached out to me today and provided me with more information about Infosys's violations. These are people who have worked with Infosys in the past, or who have not necessarily been employed by them but have worked with them as contractors and are familiar with stuff, and have provided me with leads on other information. We've also had a great deal of response from people just congratulating Jay and supporting him for having the courage to do this.
I asked him if his strategy in pursuing the case against Infosys will change in any way as a result of this national exposure. He said it will not:
No, I'm still going to pursue it the same way as I have. I have depositions set up, I'm going to set up more, and I'm going to go forward with it. As strongly as I feel about his case, and as aggressively as I intend to continue to pursue it, I also at this point am more convinced in the last couple of months about the significance of Jay's information. I have learned a lot about other companies now changing their ways because of Jay; there are other lawsuits that have been filed against other companies that have tracked our lawsuit, and I wish those people well. I have just received more and more information regarding the seriousness of these violations, and the effect they've had on tens of thousands of Americans who have lost their jobs. Jay and I talked about it, and this is a lot bigger than just him, and just this case - he and I have become more and more convinced of that. So does it change my perspective? Yeah. Does it change anything I'm going to do about pursuing this case in the federal district court here in Alabama? No. I still intend to fight for him the same way I have for the past year and a few months.