On October 13, 2016, a federal judge in Florida dismissed a pair of punitive class action lawsuits against Walt Disney Parks and Resorts and two consulting companies, dismissing allegations that they conspired to replace Disney employees with foreign workers in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (“RICO”). See Perrero v. HCL America, Inc. and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts U.S., Inc., Case No. 6:16-cv-112-Orl-31TBS (M.D. Fla. 2016).
In this case, Perrero sued Disney and two consulting companies, HCL and Cognizant, claiming that they conspired to replace 200 to 300 U.S. employees with FNs hired under the H-1B visa program. Relying on RICO, Perrero claimed that these companies engaged in a “pattern of racketeering” activity by falsely stating on the DOL’s Labor Condition Application (“LCA”) forms that the H-1B employees would not adversely affect the working conditions of similarly situated U.S. workers. The court agreed with HCL and Cognizant that this LCA representation applied only to their employees, and not to Disney’s. Moreover, the court also noted that the consultants were correct that the LCA representation about U.S. workers does not apply to exempt H-1B workers who are paid at least $60,000 a year, and that the workers at issue were exempt under this definition.