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

timothy posted about 8 months ago | from the cue-the-h1bigots dept.

The Almighty Buck 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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Shocking (5, Funny)

Nerdfest (867930) | about 8 months ago | (#45950115)

I'm shocked. Oracle has always seemed like one the more reputable companies, willing to compete fairly, not obsessed with gouging its customers, and nary an evil bone in their corporate body. I can't imagine them hiring or promoting people that would act like this.

Re:Shocking (4, Interesting)

CdBee (742846) | about 8 months ago | (#45950153)

If proven true in court, this justifies a boycott of Oracle products by all us techies until Oracle produce an open salary audit proving no racial differentials between staff at the same locations. The allegation if true is disgraceful

Re:Shocking (5, Interesting)

jellomizer (103300) | about 8 months ago | (#45950235)

Umm... I don't think Boycott is what you think it is.
You really don't need to be justified to boycott a product/company. You can do it whenever you really want.

Besides no matter how bad Oracle gets, if your Boss says use this Oracle product or your fired, then you will probably be a little less outraged.

Now this if proven true in court, could be justifiable for Oracle workers to unionize and strike.

Re:Shocking (4, Informative)

ausekilis (1513635) | about 8 months ago | (#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 [google.com] Oracle has brought on with various companies, like those providing Solaris support "illegally" [networkworld.com] , or even the controversies [wikipedia.org] surrounding the company and it's business tactics. No, one racial comment and termination in an at-will [ca.gov] state is what's going to cause the boycott.

Re:Shocking (-1, Troll)

CheezburgerBrown . (3417019) | about 8 months ago | (#45950407)

You sound like one of those reactionary progressives.

Re: Shocking (2, Insightful)

FishTankX (1539069) | about 8 months ago | (#45950493)

I think this isn't about race more nationality.

Re: Shocking (1, Redundant)

fatboy (6851) | about 8 months ago | (#45950713)

I think this isn't about race more nationality.

It's a good thing for Oracle that the Civil Rights Act 1964 allows you to discriminate based on National Origin. Oh, wait! Doh!

Re:Shocking (5, Funny)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 8 months ago | (#45950165)

Next thing you know, they're going to be bundling adware with Java and suing open source projects.

Re:Shocking (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950249)

I gotta say, it was hilarious (in retrospect) how the open source community got ultra-paranoid about Mono and C#, and it turned out that it was Java that turned into the lawsuit fodder instead.

Do any of the people who were beating up on de Icaza feel bad about that now, or are they incapable of shame?

Re:Shocking (5, Insightful)

binarylarry (1338699) | about 8 months ago | (#45950345)

I suspect if Google had chosen Mono instead of Java, Microsoft would have sued the fuck out of Google exactly like Oracle did. Hell, Microsoft is shaking down Android OEMs over FAT patents.

So that mistrust was not wrong, Oracle and Microsoft both suck and their product offerings reflect that.

Re:Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950529)

de Icaza could have developed something better than both Java or .NET. I think he just got tired of being poor and latched on to the project that he could dominate. There were already open source implementations of Java. .NET was and still is Microsoft's baby.

Re:Shocking (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950205)

You forgot the "/sarcasm" tag.
LOL!!!

Re:Shocking (1, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 8 months ago | (#45950237)

Lol. Find me one company in the entire world that pays its Indian in India employees as much as its California ones?

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. Assuming, this guy did not really really want to stay in India, he would obviously of accepted $50K, which is probably already a huge raise.

Re:Shocking (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950357)

might be a huge raise, but the living expenses are very different too

Re:Shocking (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950503)

Pretty much this.

It is surprising how many thinks that money by itself has a value. It doesn't, the value comes from the things you can buy from it.
Say that I don't have any desires beyond somewhere to sleep and food for the day. My salary would still have to be significantly higher if I work in the US instead of in China.

Re:Shocking (5, Informative)

sunderland56 (621843) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Shocking (5, Informative)

MartinSchou (1360093) | about 8 months ago | (#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:Shocking (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 8 months ago | (#45950409)

Oh come now, corporate behavior and the behavior of a few individuals are miles apart.

But in this instance it was an honest mistake, the Indian reference was to an old treaty with the Powhattan tribe, where that kind of wampum was damn good beads.

Re:Shocking (4, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 8 months ago | (#45950421)

I'm shocked. Oracle has always seemed like one the more reputable companies, willing to compete fairly, not obsessed with gouging its customers, and nary an evil bone in their corporate body. I can't imagine them hiring or promoting people that would act like this.

Honestly, I am shocked; but for totally different reasons:

Oracle is evil, sure; but they are a major corporation, with a legal department, HR, 'Compliance' people, and so on. Try to stiff an employee and fire him if he complains? Fuck yeah, Larry can't keep himself in yachts if the peons get all the crumbs they ask for.

Outright admit that you are engaging in discrimination based on racial/ethnic/national origin, when there are so many other ways to massage something as potentially ambiguous as salary level, 'fit with the company', and so on? Was somebody drunk on the job? Asking to get fired and sued? Got away with it so often that they got arrogant?

That is what strikes me as shocking (though, rather convenient for the cause of justice). There are endless legal, or at least 100% unprovable, ways of fucking with somebody. What kind of utter moron would be dumb enough to tell the guy the truth to his face?

my SO's in sales there (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950425)

short version is it's a snake pit but you can make some serious $ if you can survive in it & produce!

Re:my SO's in sales there (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#45950693)

short version is it's a snake pit but you can make some serious $ if you can survive in it & produce!

The anonymous coward is correct.

I work for an enterprise software company (security space) and I'm friends with much of our sales team. Exactly the same deal.

Indians are hired for low wages (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950117)

There is an Oracle office in India for a reason. They're cheap. Defeats the purpose if you bring them all over here on US wages, wouldn't it? Might as well hire Americans, god forbid!

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950189)

As a Finn who has worked for american companies in their finnish subsidiaries, the same applies - finnish engineers are hired because we're WAY cheaper than our american counterparts.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (2)

khr (708262) | about 8 months ago | (#45950383)

As an American who worked in the Indian office of a Finnish company, the same applies, we were way cheaper than our Finnish counterparts...

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950477)

As an American sub-contractor of an American who works in a Indian office of a Finish company that was recently acquired by an American company, I feel like I've been screwed somehow.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (0)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 8 months ago | (#45950711)

As an [anecdote] of an [anecdote] the [anecdote] applies here. I definitely feel like I've been screwed.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (4, Informative)

gordo3000 (785698) | about 8 months ago | (#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.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (4, Informative)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#45950309)

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:Indians are hired for low wages (1)

gordo3000 (785698) | about 8 months ago | (#45950479)

of course, but you can hire a low level moron in the US for the same amount. It's not that hard to find people who will go for it. But the fact 100k+ starting salaries are becoming regular offers from the IT companies in India for highly qualified new grads means the market is flattening very fast. I actually don't know any new IT grands that pull down 100k their first year but I'm sure they are out there.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (1)

GNious (953874) | about 8 months ago | (#45950445)

Ease of hiring? Took our company 15 months to hire 6 phone-support guys, that we were contractually required to have in place loooong ago.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (2)

gordo3000 (785698) | about 8 months ago | (#45950519)

well, that's also why wages are converging to US levels very fast in those industries. I know friends of mine in finance there would tell me they could easily negotiate 25% salary increases YoY back in 2006.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (3, Interesting)

bradgoodman (964302) | about 8 months ago | (#45950483)

Yes and no. There are many well-educated, foreign countries in which US companies (several I have worked for) try to hire-in, in an attempt to lower labor costs. India is one, there's also Russia, Singapore, etc. It's all about supply and demand. US companies flock to these countries and start hiring. This increases demand and decreases supply. After a while, the salary offset isn't as large, and there becomes less incentive to do so. This is starting to happen in many countries, and it's a good thing for workers everywhere. (Foreign employees get paid more, less desire to ship US jobs overeases = Good for US workers).

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950621)

India is full of rote learners and liars. Good luck finding competent engineers there.

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950295)

Are you saying that $50K is good money for an Indian?

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (2)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 8 months ago | (#45950303)

...wanted to transfer a high-performing salesman from Oracle's India office to California

Reading comprehension fail

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950305)

You know the old management saying. "A company that will go to the ends of the Earth for its people will find it can hire them for about 10% of the cost of Americans."

Re:Indians are hired for low wages (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950637)

I'll be the Devil's Advocate here (it's Oracle after all ;) ).

To be fair, the rest of Oracle didn't seem that keen on moving the guy from India to the USA, only this Spandow guy was keen. So why bring this guy to California anyway? Is he Spandow's boyfriend or something?

Just because he's supposedly high performing (don't see "salesman" in the article tho!) in India doesn't mean he'll be a high performing in California, and he'll have to justify the higher USD60k salary too.

Given Spandow couldn't make a good case or even negotiate a deal - e.g. USD50k but a higher bonus/commission to cover the USD10k difference if he meets performance targets (and thus justifies Spandow's faith in him). Alternatively give the Indian guy USD60k but have USD20K of Spandow's bonus linked to the Indian guy's performance - hey Spandow believes in him right? I'd think Spandow deserved to be fired for kicking up a fuss instead of coming up with a deal. After all isn't it Oracle where people negotiate all sorts of deals? And if he really turns out to be a salesman he should be more interested in commissions part of the package than base salary.

Regarding the whines about discrimination big fucking deal, I'm in a 3rd world country and USD50k would be good money for me. So if you're not going to discriminate why not pay the Indian workers in India USD50k? Fact is USD50k is good money for an Indian, even if he's living in the USA - assuming it's a shorter term thing and he intends to retire somewhere cheaper than the USA (India maybe). Not all Indians want to retire in the USA. Even on USD60k I doubt he'd be able to afford maids in the USA but he might be able to in India.

german law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950119)

I like the German law regarding hiring immigrants, and that is, they have to be paid the same as your other workers.

Re:german law (3, Informative)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 8 months ago | (#45950247)

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

Re:german law (1)

khr (708262) | about 8 months ago | (#45950405)

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

No kidding... As an American, when I worked for a U.S. company a decade ago, the Indians brought over on H1-B visas were paid quite a bit more than I was for doing the same job.

On the flip side, though, I guess I had better job security (being competent and underpaid...)

Re:german law (4, Insightful)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 8 months ago | (#45950551)

Salaries are basically a con. A business will pay you as little as they think you will accept. There are skillset supply and demand constraints, local market conditions, and whatever else is in your salary history. If a business you worked for 10 years ago wasn't doing well and hence didn't give decent raises, future employers use this as fodder for justifying paying you less than another person who managed to market themselves into a higher wage position.

So it goes..
d

Re:german law (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950557)

What's "paid the same" though?

About a year after I started my first desktop support job I was making about 7 dollars an hour. Minimum wage was 4.25 at the time, AFAIR. Being without any degree or certification I didn't mind it too much as it was a foot in the door and I was looking at my ex-coworkers who were making about 2 dollars less an hour than I was and doing less "real work" for it.

Because of some expansion and a more complex environment we hired another desktop support person. He came in with an A+ and a 18-month tech school certificate and was hired out at 10 dollars an hour. He was perpetually late, had no real troubleshooting skills and very little interest in computers beyond what got him a paycheck. The running joke around work was that he was my secretary because he did little on his own so I tackled the technical issues and he handled the arms and legs kind of work.

So what is it to be "paid the same"? I made 30% less than this guy and I was the one doing the real skilled labor. I wasn't going to rock the boat because I realized that if they wanted I could have been gone at the drop of a hat and without anything to back me up, my experience didn't mean a lot in a pre-y2k world with thousands of tech school graduates looking for whatever they could find.

Maybe Germany has a law that would have handled that situation too but what if the next desktop guy they brought in would have been an immigrant and they bumped me up to 10 an hour and gave him 7? Should he have felt slighted?

B-But Muh Talent (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950121)

But we need that talent from overseas because Americans don't have the skills do those jobs -- ask Larry Ellison, or Mark Zuckerburg! This is why America needs amnesty and more immigration!

-- Ethanol-fueled

Re:B-But Muh Talent (5, Insightful)

oscrivellodds (1124383) | about 8 months ago | (#45950215)

No, you don't understand. Amnesty and immigration are needed to keep the social security Ponzi-scheme going. There simply aren't enough young people paying into the system to support all those retired old people. We need to make the undocumented workers legal so they can be taxed.

What Ellison, Zuckerberg and other of their ilk want is more H1B visas. H1B visas are needed to keep salaries down by replacing relatively highly paid American tech workers with lower paid imports who will be unable to leave their awful working conditions to seek better elsewhere lest they be sent back to the countries they worked so hard to leave.

Re:B-But Muh Talent (0, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950399)

WTF.
where I'm at the practice is even better. Employees get the salary they negotiate. PERIOD. So there are some old guys (experienced but not very experienced negotiators ) that have lower salaries than some new guys (aggressive negotiators with far less skills) .
Moral of the story. Better get the negotiation skills ... they are worth more than tech skills.

Re:B-But Muh Talent (2, Interesting)

game kid (805301) | about 8 months ago | (#45950657)

We need to make the undocumented workers legal so they can be taxed.

Exactly. (If you meant that in sarcasm, you're more right than you think.) Our government (feebly attempts to) turn back lots of good taxpayers [itep.org] who just want a decent wage and standard of living. We can put public records (and, yes, the NSA) to good use: gather info on the immigrants before they attempt to enter, and when they try and if they are able to learn our history without posing an imminent threat to lives, make them legal in 82 minutes--not 82 YEARS (WTF?) [beancard.com] . This would encourage upstanding behavior, bring in more taxes, bring in more ideas that would give more people here and abroad a job to keep busy, and leave the law enforcers free to properly fight real enemies of the state, like banks [nbcnews.com] .

Certain 'Murican types say that Those Damn Illegals don't follow the law and Took Er Jerbs. I remind them that no one follows the law [youtube.com] and we should update the law to conform with basic respect, common sense, and our dire budget--and maybe our new Americans can give them their next job.

Truth hurts (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950159)

Because that is good money for an indian. Getting off the reservation and its rampant fire water problem is a plus.

Wait...are we talking about dots or feathers? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950181)

C'mon, get your Indians right, mate!

(yeah, we're all going to burn in hell for these comments)

Re:Wait...are we talking about dots or feathers? (2)

allcoolnameswheretak (1102727) | about 8 months ago | (#45950575)

Well, Columbus fucked that one up over 500 years ago, so it's a little late for that.

Re:Truth hurts (1)

Grantbridge (1377621) | about 8 months ago | (#45950191)

Indian = someone from India.

Re:Truth hurts (4, Insightful)

CanHasDIY (1672858) | about 8 months ago | (#45950251)

Indian = someone from India.

Well, yea. That's evident by the fact they offered him money, instead of signing the contract, getting him drunk, then peeing on the contract up as they steal all his land.

Oracle is not a person (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950179)

Oracle didn't say anything. Some dude that works there said it. The company should be charged for any discrimination their employees say, but don't make it like it was a statement from their PR or anything like it. There are people that saying stupid things like that anywhere, at any given time.

Re:Oracle is not a person (1)

tsprig (167046) | about 8 months ago | (#45950273)

Yes, however, if this person was fired and brought this issue up to management above before going to his lawyers then it's quite possible there is a culture built around it. If that's the case then Oracle isn't quite as shiny as their PR department tries to make them out to be... which I guess is news?

Re:Oracle is not a person (2)

voss (52565) | about 8 months ago | (#45950453)

If you want to see whats wrong with Oracle look whos running it.

Compared with Larry Ellison...Bill Gates is Mahatma Gandhi.

"A few months ago, a female ex-employee with whom Ellison had had an affair launched a lawsuit in which she alleged that he tempted several female employees into bed with the offer of an Acura sports car. Ellison claimed the offer was a joke but, when questioned, admitted that he had bought four Acuras in the previous year."

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/media/network-meet-larry-ellison-the-software-supremo-with-an-ego-to-match-his-income-1269887.html [independent.co.uk]

Re:Oracle is not a person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950635)

hey, at least he wasn't offering a Lexus [snopes.com] (Lexus is a division of Toy Yoda)

Re:Oracle is not a person (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950299)

Yes Oracle is a person... told Neo that there is no spoon!

Re:Oracle is not a person (5, Interesting)

biodata (1981610) | about 8 months ago | (#45950339)

If a company is not a person, how do they have any rights?

Re:Oracle is not a person (2)

Argos (173864) | about 8 months ago | (#45950381)

Quiz: who said "Corporations are people, my friend"?

True, yet. (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950203)

Yes, this was very discriminatory BUT, what about all the qualified out of work Americans who would have taken the job. There are guys who would have taken the 50k without question and there would have been no need for Oracle to apply for an H1B1..

Re:True, yet. (1, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | about 8 months ago | (#45950269)

That would mean law is enforced, and that is commie red soshalsism, friend.

Re:True, yet. (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#45950419)

This was a person who was already working within Oracle... this was not a new hire. I'd dare say that most people in America who already work for Oracle make more than $50k.

Re:True, yet. (1)

DJProtoss (589443) | about 8 months ago | (#45950509)

In this particular case, he was after transferring an employee of Oracle India who already had worked with the team (albeit remotely) and knew the systems involved, so arguably the pool of equally qualified Americans who weren't already employed by Oracle was probably pretty small.

But... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950227)

They should be earning the same as all the Americans because they are also Americans. I mean, the Cherokees, the Apaches and all the other tribes were in America before the Europeans, right?

Comedy Gold (5, Funny)

Sponge Bath (413667) | about 8 months ago | (#45950243)

An Oracle executive, sales manager and human resources manager walk into a court room...

Re:Comedy Gold (1)

ThatsDrDangerToYou (3480047) | about 8 months ago | (#45950569)

An Oracle executive, sales manager and human resources manager walk into a court room...

Penguin.

Citizenship? (1)

unixcorn (120825) | about 8 months ago | (#45950265)

According to my employer, workers from overseas that are in the US and want to become citizens require lawyer time which isn't cheap. The article didn't mention whether the person from India was coming permanently or if the position was temporary. If it wasn't an H-1B (temporary) position then the lower wage might have been justified based on the cost of bringing the person over and the subsequent costs associated with sponsorship.

Re:Citizenship? (3, Informative)

taikedz (2782065) | about 8 months ago | (#45950555)

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.

Hmm (2)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 8 months ago | (#45950275)

There's an implication in Spandow's revelation, if it happened as it is being reported here.

If the Indian's didn't work for less, would it disincentivize their hiring?

Or is there also an expectation they will tolerate longer hours in a less hospitable work environment?

How is this sueable? (0)

wisnoskij (1206448) | about 8 months ago | (#45950283)

As far as I am aware you are allowed to offer people whatever salary you choose.

Re:How is this sueable? (0)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 8 months ago | (#45950365)

But not to discriminate against protected groups.

Re:How is this sueable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950495)

Foreign nationals are not a protected group.

Re:How is this sueable? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#45950375)

Wage discrimination based on race, gender, ethnicity, etc is illegal. "$50K/year is good for someone with your skill set" is perfectly acceptable. Telling him to his face that he's not worth any more than that because he's got brown skin and a Mumbai accent is not.

Re:How is this sueable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950411)

Bingo. And it's very difficult to enforce in practice, unless of course your HR manager is the kind of dumbass that will just write "that's good money for an Indian" right there in an internal e-mail.

Re:How is this sueable? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 8 months ago | (#45950525)

It's a little early to pull the old "race card" out. Is the employee an indian (citizen of India)? I can easily interpret that as "$50K/year is good for an indian national."

Re:How is this sueable? (2)

sandytaru (1158959) | about 8 months ago | (#45950619)

That's still illegal.

Re:How is this sueable? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 8 months ago | (#45950687)

Really? How?

Re:How is this sueable? (1)

DJProtoss (589443) | about 8 months ago | (#45950497)

From TFA, he is suing because he was (he alleges) sacked for asking to hire the Indian at a salary they would have offered one of the rest of the team and complaining when they wouldn't.

Re:How is this sueable? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950615)

Yes, but you are not allowed to discriminate on race. It doesn't really matter if he gets a different salary because of his race, or a different lavatory because of his race. If he was offered $50K because Oracle wages come from /dev/random (or any other allowed reason), there would be no problem and Oracle might just win the case.

It *is* good money for an Indian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950321)

...or anyone else for that matter. I'd kill for that kind of salary and I'm Dutch.

Re: It *is* good money for an Indian... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950491)

I'm also Dutch. 50kUSD is like 38kâ. A pretty sad salary for an experienced sales guy. Plus for that 38kâ you would have to work 60 hour weeks and get 10 days vacation.

I know the Dutch are incredibly stingy with salaries but even this is pretty sad.

Where is "racial" discrimination? (1, Insightful)

mi (197448) | about 8 months ago | (#45950323)

$50,000, which was 'good money for an Indian.'

It certainly is good money for someone — whatever their race — from India, where that same person was earning much less...

When Spandow protested, he was himself summarily fired

Unless Mr. Spandow's own dismissal was due to racism or some other illegal discrimination against him, I doubt, the suit will be found to have much merit. Bad publicity for Oracle — maybe. But nothing worse. Oh, and a much of folks in India thinking, that he is a spoiled idiot...

Re:Where is "racial" discrimination? (2)

mjwalshe (1680392) | about 8 months ago | (#45950385)

His position is its because of his whistle blowing and racial discrimination - the guy is Irish.

Re:Where is "racial" discrimination? (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 8 months ago | (#45950461)

But he's not a Black Irishman...

Re:Where is "racial" discrimination? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950499)

India is a country, not a race.
    To think otherwise would be racist.

There are geographically dependent economic factors that impact pay.

Stupid thing to say? Yes

Is it racist? No

Re:Where is "racial" discrimination? (1)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#45950717)

The laws which prohibit racial discrimination clarify it to mean discrimination based on any of race, color, descent, or national or ethnic origin. They all fall under the same umbrella of "racial discrimination".

Re:Where is "racial" discrimination? (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | about 8 months ago | (#45950561)

It's not racial discrimination if the employer was referring to his nationality. The context of the conversation was what would be an acceptable salary offer to bring an Indian to the US corporate office.

Re:Where is "racial" discrimination? (1)

s_p_oneil (795792) | about 8 months ago | (#45950665)

I don't think it matters. Companies will pay significantly less for employees in rural Georgia than they do for the same employees in Silicon Valley because rural Georgia has a much lower cost of living. This is standard business practice everywhere. Is that racial (or any other kind of) discrimination? Of course not. This is the same practice regardless of whether the manager technically said "for an Indian" (which sounds less politically correct) or "for someone living in a low-cost area like India" (which sounds more politically correct). And IMO it doesn't count as whistle-blowing to call someone out on a business practice that is neither illegal nor immoral. He's being fired for being a dumbass and making a big stink about nothing, not for being a whistle-blower.

Mr. Spandow (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950457)

And Mr. Spandow will find that his employment options after this lawsuit highly curtailed.

Re:Where is "racial" discrimination? (3, Informative)

mark-t (151149) | about 8 months ago | (#45950523)

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:Where is "racial" discrimination? (2)

taikedz (2782065) | about 8 months ago | (#45950633)

It certainly is good money for someone — whatever their race

In which case, why was the "for an Indian" phrase even mentioned, unless to single them out as opposed to other persons?

Unless Mr. Spandow's own dismissal was due to racism or some other illegal discrimination against him, I doubt, the suit will be found to have much merit.

I'd be surprised if the court finds that context and lead-up is not relevant to their decision. If the senior managers are found to have been violating equal opportunities regulations, their handling of Mr Spandow, who was effectively trying to rectify their ill behaviour, could be a direct consequence of their violation, and encompass him. Possibly a grey zone to be clarified.

The cruelest part (5, Insightful)

Dishwasha (125561) | about 8 months ago | (#45950331)

Was that they were only willing to offer him $50,000, not even $60,000 in CALIFORNIA. Isn't $60,000 a year under the poverty line there?

I don't see the problem (0)

DoofusOfDeath (636671) | about 8 months ago | (#45950377)

I don't understand what the problem is here. During salary negotiations, one usually makes an initial salary offer that's at the low end of what you think the candidate will be willing to accept. I thought it's fair game to bring all relevant information to bear when deciding what to make for an opening offer: how desperate the person is for a job, what his current salary is, etc.

The story would be different if Oracle said "Our salary ceiling for Indians is $X, and for Americans it's $Y." But we're just talking about the opening offer, aren't we?

$50k is absurdly low (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950393)

$500k is more like it.

60K In California ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950401)

Can you even afford an apartment where you don't get shot at on a daily basis for 60K in California, let alone 50K ? Not to mention a salesperson will need decent clothes and a nice enough car which aren't cheap. I suppose they'd also like to eat.

Boycotting Oracle (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950413)

I will be boycotting anything and everything Oracle makes from any development I do from now on. Shouldn't be too hard as so much of what they offer is pure crap now anyhow this just seals the deal.

Yay! Payday! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950423)

That guy and the Indian couldn't have hoped for a better response.
1) they get to escape oracle
2) oracle will have to buy them off

Must have been the greatest day of their lives.

EEOC (1)

v1x (528604) | about 8 months ago | (#45950487)

According to http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/publications/fs-nator.cfm [eeoc.gov] it seems like prohibition from workplace discrimination based on national origin extends to hiring. Unfortunately, the most likely outcome of a lawsuit like this one would be a fat settlement for this indivisual, after which, it will be business as usual at Oracle and at other companies with similar hiring practices.

but no Americans (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950549)

Considering Oracle (aka Sun) wasn't hiring white Americans, I think the lawsuit should be dropped.

yatch master (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950659)

i bet Larry has one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Rolex-Yacht-Master-Mens-Watch-116689/dp/B003KV0QSW/ref=sr_1_9?ie=UTF8&qid=1389710422&sr=8-9&keywords=yatchmaster+2+rolex

Dell does this too (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 8 months ago | (#45950681)

I used to work for Dell. There was a developer from India on an L-2 visa with 5 years experience and working out of Northern Virginia. They paid him so little he could not afford a car. He had to walk to work. When it was really hot, he had to go into the bathroom and wash the sweat off when he got here. In this location a developer with 5 years experience typically makes about $80-90k. Plus if he is coming from India that is supposed to me he is top notch and you cannot find someone of his skills in the US. He was actually pretty good. They were totally ripping him off.

I think people brought over to take tech jobs should be paid in the top 1% of tech salaries because they are supposed to be the best of the best. If they are the best, they should be paid like it. When they can be low balled, it makes it impossible to compete with those wages.

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