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posted by janrinok on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:37PM   Printer-friendly
from the globalisation-at-its-best dept.

A lawsuit by four IT workers alleging that outsourcing firm Infosys favored hiring Indian workers over U.S. workers now includes an account from a former Infosys recruiter about the alleged practice. It includes accounts by Samuel Marrero, who worked in Infosys's talent acquisition unit from 2011 until May 2013, of meetings with executives at the India-based IT services firm. Marrero and other recruiters "frequently complained" to higher-ups at Infosys during these weekly calls that many of the highly qualified American candidates they had presented were being rejected in favor of Indian prospects. In response to one of these complaints, Infosys' global enterprise lead allegedly said, "Americans don't know $#!%," according to the lawsuit. Infosys has denied allegations that it discriminates.

On July 10, Computerworld wrote about this lawsuit, and asked Infosys in advance for a comment. The company finally responded on July 18, saying in part:

"It is incorrect to insinuate that we exclude or discourage U.S. workers. Today, we are recruiting to fill over 440 active openings across 20 states in the US. These include 300 openings for professional hires and about 140 openings targeting local and recent MBA graduates, Masters degree holders and under graduates to bolster our sales and management consulting teams. This hiring program is a key investment to strengthen our future leadership pool. The program will see us investing in an extensive training and leadership-mentoring exercise to groom young MBAs for a rewarding career with us.

"Attracting the best and brightest talent is paramount to Infosys' success," the company said in the July 18 statement. "We are committed to creating a work environment where every employee feels included, valued and respected."

Infosys officials could not be reached for comment on the recently amended complaint.

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  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Horse With Stripes on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:53PM

    by Horse With Stripes (577) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:53PM (#103573)

    This is no surprise. Why hire local talent when you can write a job description tailored exactly to someone being offered from abroad at a fraction of the salary? As an added bonus you can control them via their HB1 visa.

    This isn't just a problem in America. I recently read about this issue in Australia and other countries. The "imported talent" is thrilled to live a barebones life (which is better than they lived in their home country) and gets to send money back home to improve the lives of their family. I don't blame the employee, but the corporations use this to hold down wages and keep experienced local talent at a disadvantage.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:07PM

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:07PM (#103578)

      There is some humor in the situation where in public a HR chick categorizes someone as "highly qualified" and someone who actually knows what they're doing describes the same candidates as "don't know $#!%" This has probably only played out about 50 million times in the last decade in pretty much every field but especially STEM and even more so in IT. Of course most of the time the race card isn't being played, or trying to drag immigration politics into it, or whatever, its just the usual HR led dilbertification.

      Then there is the side issue that no one volunteers to work with certain last ditch employers because they're H1B farms etc. There is also truth in this assessment that "highly qualified" as a wal mart people greeter can most certainly simultaneously mean "don't know $#!%". There is no polite way to put it, that place is not exactly google with respect to aspiration. "well, I need to pay the mortgage and the kids are starving and shoeless, so I'll hold my nose and work there until I can get a real job at a real employer". Maybe a polite way to describe them is as not a highly qualified employer. Its kind of like working at McDonalds if you're a professional chef, well, it is the food service business and its better than watching Judge Judy reruns while being unemployed, but ...

      This doesn't imply everything else in the conversation about their well known H1B fraud problem and their well known racism problem isn't true.

      • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:12PM

        by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:12PM (#103582)

        "HR chick"

        "Samuel Marrero"

        Err, ah, whoops. In my defense, observationally over about 3 decades, I've only once known of a single male HR employee, whereas I've known several female programmers / engineers.

        We hear endless SJW complaints about no women in STEM but not so much from the same crowd about no men in HR, just to further muddy the waters.

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:17PM

          by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:17PM (#103586) Journal

          The cause of the flawed HR evaluation of employee competence found?

    • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:34PM

      by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:34PM (#103597)

      It's not entirely about salary.

      One of the main reasons US-based tech companies like H1B visa holders over citizens is that if you hold an H1B visa, and your employer fires you or you quit your job, then you no longer have a right to live in the United States and are on your way home to wherever you came from. They like that H1B visa holders have restrictions on their ability to look for another job (they really really hate how easy it is for employees to change companies, because that is in fact driving up prices). They also like the fact that those employees, since they're coming to a new country, are unlikely to have a social or family life outside of work, so they can be on call 24x7x365. Both employers and visa holders know about all of this, so that makes it easier for employers to force those employees to work 100-hour work weeks and otherwise abuse their staff.

      And yes, some of it is also about price.

      --
      The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
      • (Score: 1) by Horse With Stripes on Wednesday October 08 2014, @05:48PM

        by Horse With Stripes (577) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @05:48PM (#103681)

        Yup. Like I said:

        As an added bonus you can control them via their HB1 visa.

        • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:01PM

          by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:01PM (#103748)

          Whoops, my mistake for reading too quickly. Although my understanding is that a lot of managers like the increased misery they can inflict on H-1Bs more than the cost savings of lower salaries.

          --
          The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
          • (Score: 1) by Horse With Stripes on Wednesday October 08 2014, @11:17PM

            by Horse With Stripes (577) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @11:17PM (#103828)

            Are you actually saying that managers would enjoy and even revel in the domination and control that comes with such significant power? Say it ain't so, Thexalon. ;-)

      • (Score: 2) by bob_super on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:17PM

        by bob_super (1357) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @08:17PM (#103754)

        You're missing the important element of motivation, training and distractions...

        Motivation: the H1 guy/girl is in a new environment and eager to prove his/her worth and the appropriateness of the big move to the US.
        Training: US schools suck (below Graduate school). Badly. Terribly. Seriously, it's amazing how much US school suck, even my Bulgarian roommate was amazed at the Undergrad college level. Most other developing and developed countries push students a whole lot more, and then there's the crazy asian kids who leave school at 5 or 6PM, grab a quick bite and take after-hours classes until 10 or 11PM (see the neighborhood around Taipei Main Station). For a recent graduate in tech, I'll take a foreigner over most Americans (though i've met a few extremely smart ones, they are less common than foreigners who were able to make the life-altering jump)
        Distractions: if your family and your favorite sports team are 10 timezones away, you're less likely to slack off during work hours...

        Source: I would know.

    • (Score: 2) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Wednesday October 08 2014, @03:42PM

      by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @03:42PM (#103627)

      I'd go one step further. The idea of having a career as a software developer is evaporating. These H-1B visa workers are temporary. They are only around for a few years, and they go away, and new ones come. They have no roots in the country where they work. They don't want to establish homes, families, communities. In other words, they're management's perfect disposable workers. I think that's the heart of the issue. As long as there is a constant turnover of short-term workers, how can anyone in the USA have a career in software development when the best they can hope for is low-paying, serial temp jobs? And only people who know how to do a job are hired, so you have to spend your own time and money keeping up with technology. No wonder people are avoiding the field.

      --
      (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
  • (Score: -1, Offtopic) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:59PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @01:59PM (#103574)

    'Aunt Jemima' relatives suing pancake company for $2B

    "The great grandsons of Anna Short Harrington, who was hired as the American pancake icon in 1933, claim that her family is entitled to a percentage of the company's revenue every time her likeness was used. They're now seeking $2 billion in compensation, plus a share of future revenue."

    http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/aunt-jemima-relatives-suing-pancake-company-2b-article-1.1966633 [nydailynews.com]

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:19PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:19PM (#103588) Journal

      This seems completely off-topic.........................

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:04PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:04PM (#103577)

    If not, good luck.

    • (Score: 2) by PizzaRollPlinkett on Wednesday October 08 2014, @03:12PM

      by PizzaRollPlinkett (4512) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @03:12PM (#103616)

      My first reaction is that this is hearsay unless he has some kind of proof.

      --
      (E-mail me if you want a pizza roll!)
  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:24PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:24PM (#103591)

    Nothing new here, except maybe that that Infosys brass was more loose-lipped about it than executives at IBM or Microsoft would be. The effect of the lawsuit will be to force the Infosys guys to be more discreet about it.

    If you're on the talent side, the way to look at it is that this gives you a data point. Don't try to work for Infosys (or Tata, Wipro, etc) unless you're Indian.

    Then go beat their clients' companies in the market place.

    • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:27PM

      by kaszz (4211) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:27PM (#103594) Journal

      Even better, make it hard for Infosys, Tata, Wipro, etc to do business.. :P
      And make sure it has a price for any company using their services.

    • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:50PM

      by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @02:50PM (#103605)

      "maybe that that Infosys brass was more loose-lipped about it"

      I think a lot of it is cultural, I've seen stuff with foreigners not understanding that culturally its perfectly OK for white folk to only hire white folk or young people only hire young people or brogrammers only hire brogrammers but what that don't get culturally about the locals is its not OK to talk about doing it. Not just exec level but low level supvrs and such.

      Its like we need to give them instructional fliers when they arrive at customs or something. OK I get it you're from India so you'll never hire anyone who isn't also from India ever again, and that perfectly OK to DO in the USA just not OK to TALK about. They get all flustered about this and confused and "I don't get it, you don't have any black team members or women team members" and they just don't get that the problem isn't doing it, because everyone does it, its talking about it.

      • (Score: 2) by Thexalon on Wednesday October 08 2014, @03:30PM

        by Thexalon (636) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @03:30PM (#103624)

        I've seen stuff with foreigners not understanding that culturally its perfectly OK for white folk to only hire white folk or young people only hire young people or brogrammers only hire brogrammers but what that don't get culturally about the locals is its not OK to talk about doing it. Not just exec level but low level supvrs and such.

        A century ago, it was perfectly OK to talk about it, because that kind of discrimination was legal and common (e.g. "Irish Need Not Apply"). Roughly 50 years ago, a lot of Americans were convinced that this was wrong, and managed to convince the government to pass laws saying it was illegal to do that. A strong majority of Americans still say in surveys that they think that employment discrimination is wrong. But there are still a lot of bigots out there who want to discriminate, so they've hit on the solution of discriminating anyways but not talking about it as a way of pretending they're not doing it. Every black guy in the country knows what "We don't think you'd be a good cultural fit here" really means.

        Your idea of saying "Oh, it's totally OK to do this, just not OK to talk about it" seems to me to be presenting the wrong solution to the problem, when the right solution is to say "It's not OK in this country to make hiring decisions based on race/gender/age. Period."

        --
        The only thing that stops a bad guy with a compiler is a good guy with a compiler.
        • (Score: 2) by VLM on Wednesday October 08 2014, @05:02PM

          by VLM (445) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @05:02PM (#103668)

          Hmm WRT to "solution" I never claimed it fixed anything other than eliminating culture shock for new foreigners who don't understand our rules and our embarrassment when they violate one of our tribal taboos in front of us. I think my description of how we really play the game is accurate. I agree the rules are wrong, but lying to the foreigners intentionally by telling them how it should be rather than how it is, is in some ways a worse end result than leaving them confused and saying the wrong things.

          Clearly noone benefits when some foreigner who doesn't know any better talks about a taboo subject. Its not like the Indians are going to start hiring white or black people any time soon because of this, just some poor bastard who said the wrong thing is going to be embarrassed and asking his staff why somebody never told him how things really work over here.

          If you wanna take over our economy and do business here, you gotta learn how we do business here. Not an abstract model of "how it should be". Either one of his guys should have advised him what not to say, or one of our guys should have. Its all messed up.

  • (Score: 3, Insightful) by Lagg on Wednesday October 08 2014, @05:45PM

    by Lagg (105) on Wednesday October 08 2014, @05:45PM (#103677) Homepage Journal

    I generally avoid saying things like this because people love to do the old knee jerk "you're racist" crap but since this guy (allegedly, but it wouldn't surprise me) started it with the generalizing: Fuck you, you incompetent piece of crap. Someone based in India that does outsourcing has absolutely no place whatsoever to be saying other people don't know shit. The reason that my once-fun and rewarding career in freelancing has turned into a depressing soul sucking existence is exactly because of companies like Infosys writing shitty, buggy code written with a very literal interpretation of spec and by people with absolutely no language (programming and otherwise) or autonomy skills whatsoever. I get hired to clean up after them and I get hired to manage them to make sure they don't mess things up anymore than they already did.

    and no. It's not racism. I don't base this on skin color. I base it on a stereotype that a country has made for themselves and happily reinforced. Oh and here's another gold nugget from the article:

    "Are you saying you just want Indian talent?"
    "Yes. They know our style and culture."

    In other words, you want indians that have been doing this stuff in their own country for long enough that they've had the autonomy and desire to learn over producing the most lines of code beaten out of them. I knew even before this H1B stuff that Infosys wasn't exactly a high class company but this almost surprises even me.

    --
    http://lagg.me [lagg.me] 🗿