Posted on January 29, 2019

H-1B: Oracle Favored Hiring Foreign Graduates of U.S. Colleges over American Grads, Feds Allege

Ethan Baron, Mercury News, January 27, 2019

Not only did Redwood City software titan Oracle favor hiring Asians for key departments, it favored non-citizen Asian graduates of U.S. colleges over American graduates, the federal government claimed in a lawsuit.


“These students required work authorization to remain in the United States after graduation,” the Labor Department said in a court filing. “In other words, Oracle overwhelmingly hires workers dependent upon Oracle for sponsorship to remain in the United States. This preference for a workforce that is dependent on Oracle for authorization to work in the United States lends itself to suppression of that workforce’s wages.”


At the same time, Asians, blacks and women were “systematically underpaid,” according to allegations in the lawsuit, which also claimed that unequal pay cost workers $400 million in lost wages.


The government also alleged in the lawsuit that Oracle, amid the legal action, destroyed documents related to its hiring process.

Oracle’s pay gap for Asians and women began at hiring, when those workers were either started at lower salaries than other employees, or hired into lower-paid jobs, the suit alleged. And the gap broadened over time, according to the suit. “The longer that female and Asian employees stay with Oracle, the less they are paid in relation to other employees,” the suit claimed.

{snip} Oracle is not alone in favoring foreign workers who can be paid less because they’re tied to a company by their visa or work permit, Hira alleged.

“Industry’s key argument for more cheap H-1B and OPT guest workers is that there’s a shortage of U.S. talent,” Hira said. “That argument completely falls apart in the face of these findings. In fact, the industry is using the visa programs for cheaper guest workers, undercutting U.S. workers, damaging the U.S. talent pipeline, and exacerbating its woeful record on workforce diversity.”

Compete America, a lobby group representing Oracle, other tech giants and a variety of businesses and organizations, in 2017 called high-skills immigration programs “necessary components for maintaining our country’s leadership and competitiveness.” {snip}