DoJ beats up tech firm for H-1B only job ads
Small fine, humiliation by press release
A Pittsburgh computer consultancy is paying $45,000 in civil penalties over claims it discriminated against legal US residents by advertising only for developers on H-1B visas.
The case was brought against iGate Mastech for placing an ad for 30 programmers between May and June 2006 "that expressly favored H-1B visa holders to the exclusion of US citizens, lawful permanent citizens and other legal US workers" according to the US Department of Justice.
So-called citizenship status discrimination is prohibited by the US Immigration and Nationality Act. The DoJ said it is "committed to protection the right of all authorized workers in the United States against citizenship status discrimination".
The complaint was one of many brought in 2006 by the US Programmers Guild against employers for specifying H1-B visa holders only to fill job vacancies.
According to the Guild's website, employers "love" H-1B aliens because they work longer hours for lower wages and also because it's harder for workers on a visa to switch jobs. The Guild called it a "fiction" that the United States suffers a shortage of skilled labor, as "most" H-1B aliens fill entry-level jobs.
Companies seeking only H-1B workers ois a serious problem, according to Guild founder John Miano. "We are only scratching the surface right now with the companies that are brazen enough to put out ads like these," he told Computerworld. ®
Yes and no...
First off, as an American who has spent 30 years in IT, 10 of those in the US working with H-1B visa holders and the last 5 working in or managing development teams in East Asia, I have to agree fully with "Systematic Erosion" up above. As far as the Count of Monte Cristo comment by Solomon Grundy - I feel your pain, but that pain isn't nearly as bad as what lots of people are feeling. Fully 95% of my American contacts with more than ten years experience and/or born before 1970 have been unemployed for at least five out of the last eight years. This includes a guy with an MBA and a P. Eng., who routinely is told he either a) has too high a rate, b) isn't credible when he says he'll work for a lower rate, and/or c) never gets called by the "recruiters" who use "grep" as a primary resume-filtering tool.
Out of some 55 projects I have worked on and/or observed with significant numbers of H-1Bs in the US, 49 have failed. Of the 15 I have worked in since arriving in East Asia, the only one that failed did so - according to the client - because the infrastructure developed for the project by a large, well-known South Asian outsourcing firm was not fit for purpose, and the budget could not support the level of rework needed....even at "bargain basement" prices.
You really do have to pay for what you get - directly or otherwise. The problem in IT for the last 20 years or so is that we haven't been getting what we've thought - and mediocrity is the new standard of excellence. TANSTAAFL? Must be a technical term - no marketroid, HR bot or CxO has ever thought the concept through.
check your info- "cheap labor" is not the case
people who work in this country legally on H1B visas are not cheaper to employ than people who are lucky enough to be citizens. it is illegal to pay people who work on H1B visas lower than the previaling wage (this is to protect them and to protect citizens). Previaling wage differs from city to city, but it is at least 60K/year.
...but do these skilled workers...
...have an MBA that our beloved government finds so much more valuable than, say, a M.Eng?