H-1B fraud claim at Dolby leads to complaint
Ex-worker says he was fired after he reported issue to management
Bay Area music-tech icon Dolby Laboratories took no action on a case of suspected H-1B visa fraud by an employee and instead fired the whistleblower, a new lawsuit claims. Dolby said it wouldnot comment onlitigation. Jorge Reyes said in his lawsuit that Dolby hired him as a senior manager for investigations in October 2016, but terminated him less than a year later after he brought his concerns about an alleged visa fraud to management and then to the federal government.
About halfway through Reyes’ time at Dolby, he met a co-worker who described himself as a lawyer from Argentina, according to his lawsuit. Suspicious of what the man told him about his qualifications and education, Reyes began to probe his colleague’s status and background, he said in the suit, filed Monday in San Francisco County Superior Court.
He claimed in the suit that he discovered the worker had submitted falsified documentation in order to obtain an H-1B visa, which is intended for jobs requiring specialized knowledge and a bachelor’s degree or higher. The administration of President Donald Trump has taken aimat the H-1B and intends to change the way the lottery for the visa is run, to favor more highly educated workers.
After Reyes reported his concerns to senior management of his San Francisco employer, the
company began to retaliate against him, claiming his performance was lacking and that he’d exaggerated his resume, he alleged. A supervisor suggested that he must not be interested in his job and should look elsewhere for employment, Reyes claimed.
Dolby failed to take any action on Reyes’ report of visa fraud, he claimed.
So Reyes took his findings to the U. S. Department of State and Department of Homeland Security in April 2017, he said in the suit. “A criminal investigation was opened by both the United States State Department and Homeland Security,” the lawsuit said.
The State Department told this news organization it would not com- ment on a matter that is before the courts. Homeland Security did not respond to a request for comment.
Reyes claimed Dolby’s “harassment” of him subsequently intensified, and he was diagnosed with high blood pressure and anxiety, which he claimed resulted from the alleged harassment. He took a month of medical leave and returned to work when cleared to do so by his doctor, he said in the suit.
The company continued its alleged harassment by putting him on administrative leave and opening up a “threat assessment ” investigation targeting him, he claimed. He was not allowed to return to work, and was fired in August 2017, he claimed.