By: Bruce Buchanan, Sebelist Buchanan Law, PLLC

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Two former IT employees, Leo Perrero and Dena Moore, at Walt Disney World in Florida are suing Disney and two outsourcing/consulting companies, HCL Inc. and Cognizant, who allegedly colluded to break the law and replace workers with less costly H-1B visa holders.

The lawsuits allege that Disney, HCL, and Cognizant were not truthful when they filled out documents for H-1B visas, thus violating a section of the RICO law that bars "fraud and misuse of visas, passports, and other documents."The outsourcing/consulting firms stated under oath that working conditions of "similarly situated employees would not be adversely affected," according to the lawsuits.

The suit explained when 200 to 300 Disney workers were given notices of their layoff, they were forced to train their foreign replacements in order to receive severance and their bonuses. Few workers were rehired and the suit alleges that some were blackballed from being rehired at Disney for at least a year. The suit seeks monetary damages although the end goal is to force Disney, the consulting firms and similar organization to change their business models.

According to the lawsuits, “HCL’s contract with Disney was ultimately intended to adversely affect the working conditions of the similarly situated workers at Disney by terminating American workers and forcing them to train the H1B workers their jobs before the termination.

Disney said in a statement that the lawsuits are based on an unsustainable legal theory and are a misrepresentation of the facts. The company says it hired more than 100 people back into other roles and offered Moore another position at comparable pay. Cognizant said in a statement that it complies with all U.S. regulations regarding the visas.