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Lawsuit: Oracle Called $50K 'Good Money For an Indian' 409

jfruh writes "A former Oracle sales manager is suing the database company for what he called racially discriminatory salary-setting practices. Ian Spandow wanted to transfer a high-performing salesman from Oracle's India office to California. When he requested a salary of $60,000 a year or more for the employee, equivalent to what his white American counterparts received, he was told instead to offer $50,000, which was 'good money for an Indian.' When Spandow protested, he was himself summarily fired."
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Lawsuit: Oracle Called $50K 'Good Money For an Indian'

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  • Re:german law (Score:4, Informative)

    by MickyTheIdiot ( 1032226 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:05AM (#45950247) Homepage Journal

    In the US, that's the law regarding H1-B workers as well, but it's not enforced.

  • by gordo3000 ( 785698 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:06AM (#45950259)

    it's funny because you are a solid 10 years out of date. Top grads in India now make comparable amounts to their US equivalents. Hell, just a couple months ago Oracle was offering grands 200k+ for Mumbai based roles. The days of indians taking jobs based solely are salary are quickly coming to a close. Now it's just ability and ease of hiring.

  • by sandytaru ( 1158959 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:11AM (#45950309) Journal
    Oh, you can still hire a subcontractor in India for $30K/year. It's just that you'll get what you pay for. As you said, the top jobs there make the equivalent of their counterparts in the US and other places easily. But those jobs only go for the folks who have the critical thinking skills necessary to do programming right. The lead architect at my office was born in Mumbai, and there's a reason he makes more than any of us - the guy's a genius.
  • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Informative)

    by ausekilis ( 1513635 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:16AM (#45950363)

    If proven true in court, this justifies a boycott of Oracle products.

    It wasn't the public shaming and mudslinging between Oracle and Google, or the dozens of lawsuits [] Oracle has brought on with various companies, like those providing Solaris support "illegally" [], or even the controversies [] surrounding the company and it's business tactics. No, one racial comment and termination in an at-will [] state is what's going to cause the boycott.

  • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Informative)

    by sunderland56 ( 621843 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:18AM (#45950391)

    Now, when someone is already working for for you for far far less, and you are paying for one of them and his family to move to America, why would you expect them to pay him as much as the other employees, already there.

    Because that is the law. Paying someone on a H1-B or L1-B visa less than the US rate is prohibited.

    Oracle has more than enough lawyers; at least one of them should have known this.

  • by mark-t ( 151149 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:30AM (#45950523) Journal
    Had Oracle just said that $50k was goody money for someone, and left the issue of Spandow's race unmentioned, they'd certainly have been fine. The problem was, however, that the person didn't just say that.
  • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Informative)

    by MartinSchou ( 1360093 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:30AM (#45950527)

    So you're perfectly okay with one of the largest companies in the world engaging in salary gouging?

    We're not talking about salary in India vs salary in California - we're talking about salary in California vs salary in California. If they want to import workers from abroad, because there aren't enough qualified local workers, they need to pay the same salary to the imported workers as they would to local workers.

    That's not only decent behaviour - it's the law. People like yourself - well, you're only going to ruin the game for yourself down the road, and sadly you seem unable to understand this.

  • Re:Citizenship? (Score:3, Informative)

    by taikedz ( 2782065 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:32AM (#45950555) Homepage Journal

    The salary and cost of hiring is secondary to the main issue here.

    Mr Bambling will have to explain why he issued a "stern warning" in response to the request, rather than an explanation as to his reasoning; Mr Trudeau will have to explain his contemptuous choice of words, and failure in turn to explain his reasoning; both them and probably others will have to explain why firing the sales manager was considered fair and necessary, in the light of the previous two points.

  • Re:Shocking (Score:4, Informative)

    by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:57AM (#45950843) Journal
    Yeah, now find a company that doesn't pay them less. Companies just have to list the position somewhere, interview a few obviously unqualified people, and then when they "fail to hire" someone in the US they hire the H1-B at the reduced rate.
  • Re:Shocking (Score:4, Informative)

    by MikeBabcock ( 65886 ) <> on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @10:59AM (#45950861) Homepage Journal

    I was on that page myself ... how on earth is this even news to people who've followed Oracle? The whole company appears to be one big jerk.

  • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Informative)

    by shaitand ( 626655 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:09AM (#45950973) Journal
    They didn't tell the guy to his face. They told the hiring manager, the hiring manager refused, so they canned the hiring manager who clearly was going to be a problem going forward.

    I'm not sure why people are acting surprised. Undercutting the local market is the entire reason US tech companies import people from India just like it's the entire reason they export functions to India. You didn't actually believe there is any sort of shortage of talented labor? Only in the sense that local labor wants more money than companies like Oracle would care to be paying therefore they want a cheaper pool of labor.
  • Mongo DB (Score:4, Informative)

    by Frankie70 ( 803801 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:26AM (#45951183)

    The guy now works at Mongo DB []

  • Re:Shocking (Score:4, Informative)

    by Давид Чапел ( 3032005 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @11:49AM (#45951421)

    This has to do with discrimination: paying someone less than someone else for the same work simply because of the color of their skin.

    I think it probably had more to do with the fact that wages are generally a lot lower in India. This improved Oracle's bargaining position in wage negotiations. If they had offered someone already in the US less then the going rate, he would likely refuse in the hope of getting a better offer. But if this employee refused their offer, he would remain in India and get much less than their lowball offer. Is this unfair, exploitive, and illegal? Of course it is. But the decision to exploit him may have had more to do with his poor bargaining position than his skin color.

  • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Informative)

    by tompaulco ( 629533 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @12:14PM (#45951727) Homepage Journal
    I'm sure they could have gotten somebody locally for $60k if they wanted to. The reason they are even bringing this guy in is because they want to pay less money.
  • by arth1 ( 260657 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @12:20PM (#45951819) Homepage Journal

    As a tech who is unemployed, I will work for that kind of money today!!!

    That was the salary for a salesman already experienced with the company, for a job in California.

    Do you still qualify?

  • Re:Shocking (Score:5, Informative)

    by Half-pint HAL ( 718102 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @12:40PM (#45952211)

    What surprizes me is that the sales guy in India needs to come to the U.S.? Also, 60K is chump change for sales. All this nonsense combined with so much drum beating has me wondering, "why?"

    The subtext not mentioned in either the summary or the article is that Oracle's overseas hiring policy is a money-saver, which goes completely against the spirit and letter of the H1B visa legislation. The policy is that visas should be granted where skilled staff fill a skills gap in the USA, not because US staff are too expensive. There have been complaints that big companies have been flouting this, and if this guy wins his case, Oracle will end up with a judgement that effectively states that they're breaking immigration laws. That's the big story....

  • What? (Score:2, Informative)

    by anonymous_wombat ( 532191 ) on Tuesday January 14, 2014 @04:12PM (#45956139)
    or your fired

    Your fired what?

If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants. -- Isaac Newton