Amazon’s HR Director Says ‘Theres No Reason Not to’ Use H1B Visa
Amazon has told employees it can use H1Bs in place of H1As in its HR departments, a move that could save up to 1,000 jobs.
The company said Thursday it’s not going to change its hiring practices, but it’s trying to “be more transparent about the use of H-1Bs for recruiting and retention” and make it easier for its workforce to identify the people who are in the H-2B program.
Amazon has not specified what it would do with H1b visas in place at its corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, California, but CEO Jeff Bezos said in a blog post that it’s looking at the H1 b program as an opportunity for its employees.
“As Amazon grows, so does the demand for talent.
That’s why we’re launching our H1 B program to bring talented professionals from around the world to our company.
This initiative will help us meet that need and accelerate our ability to hire talented talent,” Bezos wrote.
Amazon declined to comment on the hiring change.
In response to a HuffPost review, Amazon said that the company is not using H1s to replace H1 visas, and that it has already eliminated its use of visas for hiring foreign workers.
“We have made the decision to eliminate H1 visa use in our corporate offices,” a statement from Amazon said.
“Amazon H1 program is fully compliant with the H2B visa rules.
It’s also clear that this change in approach has helped us eliminate our use of this visa for recruiting, retention, and the H3 visa for foreign employees.
We believe this move is a smart and responsible approach that will benefit our customers, employees, and communities.”
Amazon has been criticized in recent years for using H-3 visas for foreign workers in its warehouses, but the company has defended the program as being needed to ensure that it can hire people from around that region.
Last year, the Department of Labor estimated that Amazon had lost more than 6,000 H-5 visas in its H-series warehouses and had lost hundreds of jobs because of the program.
But a number of federal labor officials and labor unions have called for the federal government to require the companies to stop using H3 visas in the future.
The Labor Department is currently evaluating whether Amazon is required to pay back the visas that were canceled, which it said it will look into.
Amazon’s announcement comes at a time when the labor market is struggling to find new workers, as companies such as Amazon, Facebook, Microsoft and IBM have all seen layoffs due to the impact of the global economic downturn.
Amazon announced earlier this month that it would be laying off 500 workers in the coming weeks.