Skip to comments.Lawsuit: Oracle called $50K 'good money for an Indian'
Posted on 01/14/2014 8:21:14 PM PST by coldphoenix
A former Oracle sales manager is suing the vendor, alleging he was fired shortly after complaining of discriminatory actions by his superior and other company officials.
Ian Spandow was a high-performing sales manager at Oracle in Europe and later California, according to his lawsuit filed last week in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California. After coming aboard in 2005, he trained more than 1,000 new hires and gave skills coaching to hundreds of others, the suit states.
Spandow was subsequently promoted in January 2008 to the position of coaching manager, and after continued success was promoted to work as a sales manager at Oracle's U.S. headquarters in Redwood Shores, according to the suit.
Despite performing well in his new role, Spandow, who is Irish, "experienced discriminatory and retaliatory conduct based on his national origin and after his complaint of various improper practices, including the company's discriminatory pay practices of employees based on their national origin," the suit states.
In September 2012, Spandow asked for permission to transfer an Oracle employee working in India to California. Spandow wanted to give the employee, who had a good track record, "a compensation level that was equivalent to Caucasian employees hired by Oracle for the same position." But Spandow's manager denied the request and told Spandow to offer the worker a "substantially lower" amount of money, according to the suit.
"I can't in good conscience, even mention $50K/$50 to him," Spandow said of the employee in an email to his supervisor, Ryan Bambling, that was cited in the lawsuit. "It would be nothing short of discriminating against him based on his ethnicity/country of origin. How or what do I have to do/write to get a reasonable (60+) offer to him?'
This prompted a "stern response" and warning to Spandow, the suit claims.
Spandow subsequently raised his concerns with his sales director, Keith Trudeau, who said the lower salary offer would be "good money for an Indian," according to the suit.
An Oracle human resources manager, Melissa Bogers, later insisted to Spandow that the lower offer was fair, the suit adds.
Spandow was "summarily terminated" without warning on Dec. 5, 2012, just weeks after the dispute over the salary offer, according to the suit.
Spandow has suffered "humiliation, embarrassment, mental anguish and severe emotional and physical distress," according to the suit, which also alleges that Oracle has engaged in a pattern of paying Indian employees less than whites.
He is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages, a declaration that Oracle's conduct was unlawful, and "all injunctive relief necessary to bring [Oracle] into compliance" with related laws, according to the suit.
Oracle spokeswoman Deborah Hellinger declined to comment on Spandow's allegations Monday.
More and more it becomes evident how American engineers got flushed out of the Silicon Valley .
"...good money for
an Indian. a person no one can understand."
That's what he SHOULD have said.
They should just monetize their blogs. [groan]
For someone coming over on a work visa who (I presume) won’t be paying taxes, 50k is beyond good.
You should be able to pay people just enough so they’ll work for you. That is how markets work. If some commodity doesn’t get bought for some price, there’s a reason.
Well, now they can just another couple of zeros to the check.
Are you able to understand the gov of LA?
What a really ignorant statement you made.
Why wouldn’t they pay taxes?
I think this is the company that fires people by email.
$50k is nothing in Redwood Shores.
If someone on a green card can prove a “closer connection” to another country, pays taxes to said country, and resides in the US for only a certain number of days per year, they don’t pay taxes.
Hasn’t the guy been here for years?
"In September 2012, Spandow asked for permission to transfer an Oracle employee working in India to California."
Larry Elison is a jerk, and treats all his employees like trash, doesn’t matter where they are from.
Then, by the same token, people should work just enough so that they get paid. They shouldn't put more enthusiasm, care, and effort into their work than is necessary to obtain that paycheck. After all, that's how markets work.
[But that's not how I work.]
As far as I know if you are an Indian working abroad you are considered an NRI (min 6 months) and you dont have to pay taxes to the country of India, as the Indian tax revenue system assumes you are paying the local host country taxes.
This is done to avoid double taxation on the individual where he end sup paying taxes both at home and at the country he is working.
Now if the host country is not collecting tax, that becomes a different discussion altogether. (in India, the tax is deducted from the income directly, not sure how it works in the US)
This is one side of the story.
“...Spandow asked for permission to transfer an Oracle employee working in India to California...But Spandow’s manager denied the request...”
“...Spandow wanted to give the employee, who had a good track record, “a compensation level that was equivalent to Caucasian employees hired by Oracle for the same position.” But Spandow’s manager denied the request...”
It is not clear to me if this Indian employee ever came to California or not.
If not, it seems that Spandow’s superiors are really saying that 50K is good money in India, which is very different than saying 50K is good money for an Indian in California.
“[But that’s not how I work.]”
Go get a higher paying job if you think you’re worth more.
That's what he SHOULD have said.
Listen to this Indian for a while. You should be able to understand him. If you can also comprehend what he says, you will be wiser for the time you spend listening.
Try this talk first:
This is why Silicon Valley wants “comprehensive” immigration reform. They wan an increase in H1-B visas.
From what I understand, the guy was going to be transferred form India to Calif and so Spandow wanted to change his compensation to match US levels.
I am not believing these numbers. So a sales manager for Oracle in California makes only $60+K? Remind me to not work for Oracle. I could make more installing cabinets. Probably has to wear a tie and do TPS reports everyday too.
Well that amount may not include commissions from sales. Just guessing tho.
This guy is a clown. Of course, they are going to pay less. Why the heck do you bring a guy from India if you pay him the same? This is why Americans can’t get these jobs in the first place!!
A while back I happened to hear a monologue by a Gulfstream-rich talk show host on the subject of employees.
Given his job and his lifestyle, he has a need for multiple employees. He said that, when he identifies a keeper, he makes sure the person is paid way more than he'd command in the normal market, and that that method has produced excellent results over time.
The Governor of LA is an American.
That’s a pretty bold and broad statement.
I know many who work for Oracle that have been there for quite some time and would definately object to your unfounded statement.
The Governor of LA, whatever his faults and suitability for 2016, is a natural-born American.
I certainly hope Spandow is not purchasing affordable Chinese products.
For every two students that U.S. colleges graduate with STEM degrees, only one is hired in a STEM job.
Finally, What IT Wages Tell Us. Returning to the wage-levels point raised by the three EPI authors, I get a kick out of lobbyists and industrialists who urge that business be allowed to run free of needless regulation and government interference, and yet urge direct governmental intervention in the labor market by permitting the massive infusion of inexpensive and young foreign workers.
Are these guys capitalists or socialists? The answer is that they take one route or the other depending on how it will serve the specific industry in question at the specific moment in time.
Right now they are all for substantial government intervention in the labor market by permitting the admission of many more foreign workers.
And how do such admissions square with the most fundamental rule of capitalism that the markets regulate prices and wages? Bear in mind that those seeking more alien workers to keep wages in check are the same people who would scream to high heaven if the government sought to control prices.
Your reply to slump tester is what is ignorant.
Jindal is American which has nothing to do with transplant Indian IT workers and their lack of English speaking skill.
This article is about bringing an Indian to the US from his native country and if you worked at all in IT you would understand that slump tester is not being ignorant, he is most likely speaking from first hand knowledge.
The h1b Indians and Pakistanis in the US are hard enough to understand, the. Ones I work with housed in India are even more difficult to understand but big American companies insist in hiring them, not because they make less (because they don’t ), but because they won’t argue with management and they will take abuse without complaint.
That is probably why many of the projects they work on are disasters. They don’t point out that what they are instructed to do is stupid and can’t possibly work, especially if they are contractors billing by the hour.
You're the one who is ignorant if you think Americans want to deal with a bunch of damn foreigners we can't understand. Been to a hospital lately?
I know that, it was a response to some who appeared to include all Indians in his statement
I was replying to someone who appeared to say all Indians are hard to understand
If you have a problem with foreign works here legally, that is your issue not mine
As far as ignorant, people are demanding 24/7 customer service, how would you think that should happen?
Sorry I actually do not have problems with legal foreigners, sorry you do.
Ellison is a jerk.
Glad your friends aren’t treated that way.
I have friends at oracle who have been years in the job, who would disagree with your people.
That does not take away that Ellison himself is a jerk.
You mean he has to pay them more than they’re worth to keep them? Does that make sense?
Yeah. Tell me about it. On my last paying job I was replaced by THREE H-1Bs...
The market is not perfect; there are inefficiencies, friction, faulty communication, sub-optimal supervisors who can't fully assess their underlings' strengths, etc.
When I say that "I don't work that way," I am saying that it would not be in my nature to do otherwise. And I think that, by providing this form of (not consciously appreciated) added value, I receive more remuneration in other forms.
Oh. I see. Like an American has to pay US taxes on any money he would earn working out of the country? That way?
We have an H-1B program because, at least according to our companies, they simply can't, can't find any qualified workers in this country.
This program allows them to hire foreign workers with equivalent skills for a fraction of the old prevailing wage. Yes, H-1Bs are paid "the prevailing wage" by law. The kicker being that the availability of hundreds of thousand of H-1Bs willing to work for half the old American wage is what sets the new prevailing wage.
Japan has a similar guest worker program, one that allows them to import labor to provide needed skills that Japanese candidates lack. BUT Japan requires that the Japanese company pay the guest worker 125% of the wages a Japanese national would command.
This allows Japanese companies to hire the people with the premium skills they need, and assures the Japanese workers that they won't be replaced with cheap foreign labor.
We could do the same in an instant here, if any of our "betters" gave a flying fig about American workers.
not just because they make lessHaving an indentured servant who must take all your arbitrary crap and smile, smile, smile while doing it is just tooooo much of a perk for the petty tyrant flavor of master.
(because they dont), but because they wont argue with management and they will take abuse without complaint.
Although most managers are good decent people, one does not have to look too far in any job market to find a martinet.
Sooo, how do your friends who have worked at Oracle for a while deal with the ethical conflict? I mean, Oracle's bread and butter (as for many Sili Valley and other firms these days) is violating people's privacy.
Nope. It means he has to pay them what they are actually worth (more than a merely average employee would be paid) so that someone else doesn't recognize their value and woo them away by offering to pay them for their full value.