Jesse Jackson Ties H1-b Program to Tech Discrimination

Technical professionals know companies are using the H1-b program to avoid hiring Americans. But this is not well known among the American public.  Now, it's starting to be understood, thanks to Jesse Jackson and Color of Change's campaign to get Twitter to seek and hire qualified Americans for their job openings on U.S. soil.

Screenshot_2014-07-30_15.11.23.pngThis is what Jackson has done and will be doing soon:

  1. Jackson met with Labor Secretary Tom Perez to press for a review of H-1B visas.
  2. He wants Americans to have first access to high-paying tech work.
  3. Jackson's group plans to file a freedom-of-information request with the EEOC to acquire employment data for companies that have not yet disclosed it publicly. Those companies include Amazon, Broadcom, Oracle, Qualcomm and Yelp.

 Watch the video and read the entire article here.

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Tech Companies Don't Hire STEM Workers; Other Companies Do

In ans effort to get more students to major in STEM fields, the U.S Census Bureau inadvertently exposed tech giant's discriminatory practices.  "STEM graduates have relatively low unemployment; however, these graduates are not necessarily employed in STEM occupations," said Census sociologist Liana Christin Landivar in an article posted on USA Today.

The Census Bureau reports that women now make up 45% of mathematicians and statisticians.  So much for the Old Wives Tale that women can't count.  In 2000, women made up 43% of the IT workforce.  Now, it's down to 24%.

If other companies can hire STEM workers, tech giants can do the same. It's clear they aren't doing so.  As I stated in the Associated Press article, "We have a shortage in the industry all right — a shortage of fair and ethical recruiting and hiring."

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Anatomy Lesson: How Manpower's Recruiting Ads Shows Disparate Treatment

A comparison of two want ads posted by Manpower Experis show they demand more experience and skills for U.S workers than H1-b visa holders.  This is sometimes referred to as a "purple squirrel" ad by tech workers.  It is not.  It is disparate treatment, a violation of EEO law.

Jeremy Locke, a Manpower Experis recruiter, has complained on our site that he can't find Americans and green card holders. He states, "I have 10-20 positions a month as just one recruiter and I can’t find local candidates for these roles, please share with me how to gain the interest of these US candidates. And these are main stream skills (Java, ETL, DBA’s, BI) but they require hands on experience and normally 3-10 years of prior experience."

So I decided to compare 2 ads Manpower posted in the same month--one on an Indian job portal requiring an H1-b visa, another on a U.S. portal posted by Jeremy Locke.

Ad Posted on Indian Portal. "Onsite Opportunity in USA | Ready H1B Mandatory | Manpower" (partial shown on our home page).  It required a minimum of 2 years experience.  It listed only categories for skills, such as, "Java, .NET, Mainframe, Unix, Networking, ETL, Database, Websphere Portal, WMB/WMQ, Storage, AS/400, Testing etc."  It further explained, "Any Technical Skill is fine".

 Ad Posted on U.S Portal: "SQL Developer." It requires 5 years experience in the category of Database, which is also one of the categories listed in the H1-b targeted Indian ad.

Country where ad was posted India United States
Date posted May 13, 2014 May 22, 2014 by recruiter on Twiter
Job title Onsite Opportunity in USA | Ready H1B Mandatory | Manpower US  SQL Developer—(Job #1557957)
Location of Job Many onsite opportunities in the USA  St. Louis

# of words specifying requirements

 20  170

As you can see from the table above, Manpower's Experis ads demanded 250% more experience for U.S. workers (5 years) than their ads demanded of H1-b visa holders (2 years).  Manpower Experis requirements, as measured in words, demanded 830% more requirements of U.S. workers than their H1-b counterparts.  Now that's disparate treatment! 

Disparate treatment is defined by the United States Supreme Court as discrimination in which “the employer simply treats some people less favorably than others because of their race, color, religion, sex, or national origin.”  In fact, this may be a prima facie case of discrimination based on national origin.  In other words, by establishing a prima facie case, you have shown the appearance of discrimination. If your employer cannot come up with a competing and better explanation of what happened, you've won your case.

Want to see the original want ads and the word count?

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Google Checks Itself into EEO Re-hab

Four years ago, Google said, "the race and gender of its workforce is a trade secret that cannot be released."  This is the height of hypocrisy.  Google supports more public access to government information for its search engine, but opposed public access to their EEO data on the race and gender makeup of their workforce.

Now they are admitting they have a problem.  That's the first step in EEO Rehab.

When Google stops discriminating against older professionals, and those currently unemployed, they will find plenty of women and minorities.  You see, there are more women and minorities amongst older tech workers.  Outsourcing, layoffs and the emergence of "Bro" culture have driven out women and minorities.  Younger ones, particularly in Silicon Valley, never break in. 

Google support more public access to government information for its search engine, but oppose’s public access to government information on the race and gender makeup of Google’s workforce? - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.JkE8O4pW.dpuf
Google support more public access to government information for its search engine, but oppose’s public access to government information on the race and gender makeup of Google’s workforce? - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.JkE8O4pW.dpuf
Google support more public access to government information for its search engine, but oppose’s public access to government information on the race and gender makeup of Google’s workforce? - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.JkE8O4pW.dpuf

Screenshot_2014-06-27_12.15.57.pngHowever, the false accusations that tech companies have perpetrated against all Americans--and our children in public schools--are surfacing as a legitimate reason for Google's discriminatory hiring

This poster has swallowed the shortage myth by stating, "If the groups that feel they are under represented then maybe they should try going out and getting a technical education. Blacks and Hispanics are not graduating college with engineering degrees in any significant numbers."

Here's the facts:

1.  In 2000, women comprised 43% of the technical workforce nationwide.  Blacks made up 13.9%.  These highly-skilled, experienced professionals were systematically culled from our workforce due to the widespread practice of forcing them to train their foreign replacement.  After that, gender, race and unemployment then blocked these professionals from returning to the industry.

2.  Labor data show that the "collective work force of 10 of the valley's largest companies grew by 16 percent from 1999 to 2005, an already small population of black workers dropped by 16 percent, while the number of Hispanic workers declined by 11 percent."

3.  Black Computer Science graduates essentially reached parity in 2006; no longer can they be dismissed as an “under-represented minority," according to National Society of Black Engineers Magazine/Career Engineer published in 2008.

African Americans earn more computer-related degrees than Asians or Hispanics.[8]

  • In 2010, 4,565 Bachelor’s degrees were awarded to African Americans in computer and information science.  African Americans earned 1,193 more Bachelor’s degrees than Asians and 1,623 more than Hispanics.
  • Also in 2010, African American students earned 1,324 Master’s degrees in computer and information sciences.
- See more at: http://dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/impact-of-guest-worker-visas-on-african-american-stem-workers/#sthash.TZJNpbcV.dpuf

African Americans earn more computer-related degrees than Asians or Hispanics.[8]

  • In 2010, 4,565 Bachelor’s degrees were awarded to African Americans in computer and information science.  African Americans earned 1,193 more Bachelor’s degrees than Asians and 1,623 more than Hispanics.
  • Also in 2010, African American students earned 1,324 Master’s degrees in computer and information sciences.
- See more at: http://dpeaflcio.org/programs-publications/issue-fact-sheets/impact-of-guest-worker-visas-on-african-american-stem-workers/#sthash.TZJNpbcV.dpuf

4.  The AFL-CIO reports that more African-Americans receive computer-related degrees than Asian or Hispanic Americans, yet in these fields, African-American employment is actually declining instead of increasing.

Recommendation to Google--expand your hiring pool to unemployed, highly-skilled, experienced technical professionals.  They will find a diverse talented pool to chose from.

 

Google support more public access to government information for its search engine, but oppose’s public access to government information on the race and gender makeup of Google’s workforce? - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.JkE8O4pW.dpuf
Kudos to Mike Swift of the Mercury News for his important article about how Google “says the race and gender of its workforce is a trade secret that cannot be released.” - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.hO5y2ilg.dpuf
Google “says the race and gender of its workforce is a trade secret that cannot be released.” - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.hO5y2ilg.dpuf
Google “says the race and gender of its workforce is a trade secret that cannot be released.” - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.hO5y2ilg.dpuf
Google “says the race and gender of its workforce is a trade secret that cannot be released.” - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.hO5y2ilg.dpuf
Google “says the race and gender of its workforce is a trade secret that cannot be released.” - See more at: http://www.netcompetition.org/fcc/real-discrimination-goobris-googles-hiding-its-eeo-track-record#sthash.hO5y2ilg.dpuf
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Robert Reich Is Against Raising the H1-b Cap

On April 10th, Robert Reich posted his opposition to raising the number of visas available to his Facebook page.  

"The number-one priority of America’s high-tech firms in the fight over immigration reform has been to increase the annual cap on the number of “skilled” foreign workers they can bring to the U.S. each year under the H-1B visa program. (This year’s cap of 65,000 was reached less than a week after applications for the program were accepted.) High-tech firms say they can’t find the skilled programmers, computer system designers, and software engineers they need here in America. "The government should just let the market work” argued one high-tech executive recently.

High-tech executives are the ones who don’t want to let the market work. If they really faced a shortage of high-tech workers in America, they’d pay higher wages. In fact, the wages of programmers, systems designers, software engineers and others have barely budged over the past decade, adjusted for inflation. High-tech firms want skilled foreign workers because they don’t want to pay more than they’re paying now. According to the latest government statistics, the median wage for new H-1B holders in computer-related occupations is only $50,000 – way below the median wage for those occupations in the U.S., and even below the starting salaries of new U.S. graduates in these fields. So I'd say "no" to increasing the number of H1-B visas. You agree?"

4,751 people liked this.  So do I.
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Tech Pros in Hollywood Saving the Jobs of the Future

Technical professionals and digital artists will appear at the Oscars to call attention to foreign subsidies that are crushing the growth of the visual effects industry. The event is being billed as the March in March. It comes after a similar grass-roots protest drew more than 400 people at last year’s Academy Awards.

“We’re trying to focus on the destructive impact of the subsidies race,” Daniel Lay, who writes the influential blog VFXSoldier, told TheWrap. “We want to broaden it to include musicians and grips and others who are being drastically effected."

According to VFXSoldier, "The visual effects industry is relatively young but the top box office grossing films of the last 30 years were driven by an abundant amount of visual effects. So were the top 100 films of all time."  Yet this embryonic industry is being stunted in it's development by studio executives who hire specialized shops to create these effects, often using tax incentives offered by Canada, New Zealand and the UK to re-locate this work temporarily. 

These subsidies are creating a fleeting industry abroad that have no roots in these countries--like "pop-up Halloween stores," the industry disappears when the project ends.  Many Americans are forced to relocate to these countries temporarily, so it's not even making all these temporary jobs available for their local citizens. From my perspective, this turns out to be a trick against all and not a treat for any.

So far, visual effect workers are forced to become international "nomads" in order to stay in their field, similar to our IT professionals being forced to become domestic high-tech "hobos" in order to keep working. Meanwhile, it may lead to a huge billion dollar industry collapsing.

So visual effects workers are going to the Commerce Department and the U.S. International Trade Commission to show that an import is benefiting from foreign subsidies and therefore illegally undercutting a domestic industry.  "The federal government is obligated to automatically slap a punitive tax on that import," according to David Sirota.  Sirota posits this tactic could be used to stem offshoring too.

These techies are smart and committed. Daniel Lay has expressed his perseverance by stating, " I’m not going to leave this industry without attempting to help fix the issues that are facing my friends, colleagues, and their families."

If you're in the LA area, please attend this rally. Details here.

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Oracle Hit with EEO Lawsuit

Did you know that EEO laws protect employees who demand management investigate any discrimination they discover?   An Ex-Oracle salesman has filed an EEO whistle blower lawsuit claiming he was fired when he complained about wage discrimination. This type of retaliation is widespread in the industry so it's not a surprise that this article is one of the most read on ITWorld's site today.

Congrats to the salesman, Ian Spanow, for standing up to Oracle's discriminatory practices. While the circumstances seem to focus on a salary offer to an Indian worker, the main focus of the lawsuit will be on the whistleblower's reporting, how his managers responded, and if an Oracle HR manager retaliated against him by firing him.

EEO laws cover employees when they report discriminatory practice, ie, it covers whistle blowers who face retaliation for acting ethically. According to EEO guidelines, his managers, Ryan Bambling, Kevin Trudeau along with Melissa Bogers, the HR manager, were obligated to investigate his claims and--if found valid--fix the discrimination that Spanow was reporting.

3 additional points that will not be covered in the suit but may be fixed if Spanow wins:

  1. As Spanow alleges, all other Caucasian in identical jobs were paid over $60K. He further alleges that these workers had 1 years of experience. Two questions arise: Does Oracle have any minorities in these entry-level jobs and, if so, are they paid less than the $60+ or are they paid $50K, the same rate offered to the Indian national?
  2. Oracle was likely using the L-1 visa program. It would be prudent to conclude that Oracle was using the L-1 program to avoid hiring an American for this job opening.
  3. Spanow also alleges that the Indian national had 7 years experience. This just compounds the discriminatory actions taken by Oracle. A national origin class-action suit against Infosys displays identical discriminatory action--an American with 15 years experience interviewed for a Lead position but was placed in a lower position with lower pay.

EEO laws have been in place for 50 years now with ample case law to eradicate such employment discrimination. Both lawsuits are also asking that the court bring Infosys and Oracle in compliance with EEO law. This is the way forward not only for IT professionals but for our nation as a whole.

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Indian Diplomat Charged with Visa Fraud by the DOJ

from Diptosh Majumdar'a twitter feed:


"Devyani Khobragade incident shows how regressive we are as a nation. Our nationalism comes alive to defend a diplomat underpaying her maid."

The Indian media is abuzz with the arrest of a senior diplomat who is alleged to have falsified visa paperwork to bring her maid to New York City on a special visa (A-3) for diplomats' servants.  Deputy Cousul General Devyani Khobragade reported to the U.S. State Department that her maid would be receiving $4,500/month but forced her maid to sign a bond contract in India stating that she would receive $600/month.

Most of the coverage revolves around whether she should or should not have been arrested.  However, an Indian writer and poet has made an unsurprising connection to the recent $43M fine levied against Infosys by the DOJ.

"The message is clear and loud that if Indian diplomats are not spared of immunity for such transgressions, then the likelihood of top executives of companies that are often

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The American Story Revealed: Federal Workers Explain Investigation

For 20 years, the hidden discrimination occurring in the tech industry has been tightly kept under wraps. Now it's been unraveled by American technical professionals through whistleblowing, suing, and reporting wrongdoing to the Department of Justice. Since a fine of $34 million has been levied against Indian giant Infosys, federal authorities are talking:

Brian Gray, a group supervisor in the Department of Homeland Security’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) unit and head of the Document Benefit Fraud Task Force (DBFTF) said, “We hope this will serve as a model for the other DBFTFs to follow, because this was kind of new territory for us to go through, and it was an educational process along the way,” Gray said. “We foresee that this will aid in the training of our customs and border protection counterparts there at the ports of entry, the consulates overseas that are issuing the visas, and educate them on how this matter started, and maybe what to look for.”

Ed Koranda, the DHS special agent who teamed with Department of State special agent Tim Forte to carry out the investigation in the trenches, stated, “I hope the success of this investigation will encourage other U.S. Attorney’s Offices to take these things on, because it does require, like Brian said, a great learning curve, and sometimes it’s a little intimidating. So I hope the fact that this was a success breeds other investigations.”

According to David Marwell, HSI special agent in charge in the Dallas Field Office, which oversaw the investigation, it already has.

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DOJ Spokesmen Hint of Ongoing Investigations

The Department of Justice has leaked to the Economic Times of India that similar investigations are underway that resulted in a historic $34M fine levied on Infosys last last week.  "There are offshoot investigations underway to look for similar misdeeds at some other companies," Karl Rusnock, a spokesman for the agency's division in Plano, Texas, told ET."

U.S. Attorney John Bales of the Eastern District of Texas, where Infosys was indicted told Reuters, "We've learned a lot in the case, and we're going to use that knowledge."

Senator Grassley (R-IA) also commented to ET that, "Some companies are finding creative ways to subvert the H-1B visa programme and bring in foreign workers to the detriment of American workers. Corporate whistleblowers reveal that too many companies appear to be pushing the envelope and ignoring the intent or spirit of the law," Senator Chuck Grassley said in a statement hours after the Infosys settlement.

Make no mistake: this is an American story.  American techies and government authorities are now stepping up to the plate to stop this.  Early on, Indian techies kept telling me that this had to be solved by Americans, a position I could not understand.  What they have always argued to me has now come to pass. 

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