FAANMG uses H-1B to depress everyone’s wages

Apple Deported
Jan 5, 2018 73 Comments

No, FAANMG does not explicitly pay less to those on visas. That’s not what’s happening. Read on...

We already know that large big-name tech companies have gone to many lengths, including illegal collusion by restricting recruiting, to prevent their employees from switching jobs. This is wage theft.

What they’re doing now, to reduce EVERYONE’s wages, is using the restrictive nature of the H-1B to discourage ~25% of their tech employees[1] from switching jobs. This distorts the market for EVERYONE, not just for those on visas.

Consider a hypothetical 4-person team.

Situation A: Anyone on this team might leave, better give everyone a decent raise (provided their perf was fine) because I don’t want to have to find multiple people this year.

Situation B: Sid and Li definitely won’t leave because they’re on H-1B lmao. Only the 2 others might. In all likelihood, at most one person would leave. Eh, fuck it, I’ll just give a bare minimum 3% raise. I can also delay Li’s promotion, because it’s not like he’ll leave.

This is also wage theft, and is equally bad.

The problem at FAANMG is not as simple as demand/supply. As we know, most FAANMG companies have significant engineering teams in UK/India/China/Israel with expansion plans. Eliminating H-1B entirely would just make them hire people there instead of bringing them here. (Yes it would prevent Disney-type scenarios but FAANG does not engage in that).

Rather, the solution is giving everyone equal rights to freely quit their job and join another company or start their own. They should not be beholden to their employer in any way.

HR392 will enable this. If you work at a FAANMG, support HR392 and you’ll see your wages increase over the next few years regardless of your immigration status. It is not a perfect bill, but it is the only politically feasible bill. Done is better than perfect.

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TOP 73 Comments
  • Fitbit xm6ep
    You can switch jobs while on H1B, even if your GC is in progress. I've done it more than once. No biggie. Look up AC21. Your argument doesn't hold water.
    Jan 5, 2018 9
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      Don’t you think it would be a net positive for all employees if those restrictions were removed?

      If people were free to create startups, wouldn’t that be more positive?

      Don’t give me that BS about how Indian/Chinese people don’t start their own companies. In other jurisdictions where they are more free to do that, such as Singapore or Dubai (or in India/China themselves) they do.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Fitbit xm6ep
      Yeah maybe but again it's a minor thing. You're blowing it out of proportion
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Medallia Moons
      It's not minor to change jobs like that man. It's a big hassle cuz you have to exercise a lot caution when doing so and it's an added layer others don't have to deal with. Further to take a step back always being on visas, is just awful, I wish it on no one - it's an incredibly restrictive at times and an added cost to keep paying filing fees, and flying in/out of the country to 'activate' certain visas not to mention the demeaning way border/customs treat you. It's just not a positive experience and can be much better. It also affects your decisions a lot more than you think.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Medallia Moons
      I have friends from Canada trying to get a startup off the ground here and so much of their time has to be spent on visa issues instead of on productive work. It's actually a net negative.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Medallia Moons
      "For example, there is a mother right now in Greenland, whose unborn child will be able to grow up, go to school, graduate college, and come to America 30 years from now and that person will get their green card sooner than someone from India who is already here in America, working hard, paying taxes, and contributing to our economy. That is simply unfair."
      Jan 5, 2018
  • Netflix / Eng ricewater
    Netflix will apply GC for you on day 1 and nobody asks this question again.
    Jan 5, 2018 5
    • Netflix Djdmdj
      They also paid my premium processing, gave me yearly >10 % comp adjustments while on h-1b
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      Apple also does GC’s and premium processing.

      So do crappy outsourcing firms like Cognizant.

      Until you actually get the GC, it’s irrelevant.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Netflix / Eng ricewater
      We have a compensation philosophy. Visa status is not part of it. If someone uses it to discriminates an engineer, he or she may lose the job.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      Did you even read my post? The very first line of it?

      They don’t pay differently based on visa status - we all know this. What’s happening is wage theft for everyone, not wage discrimination based on visa status.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Medallia Moons
      "For example, there is a mother right now in Greenland, whose unborn child will be able to grow up, go to school, graduate college, and come to America 30 years from now and that person will get their green card sooner than someone from India who is already here in America, working hard, paying taxes, and contributing to our economy. That is simply unfair."
      Jan 5, 2018
  • Apple / Other ZZ007
    I feel my promotion was delayed by a year, coz my manager was confident that I would not leave due to my Visa issues.
    Jan 5, 2018 0
  • Amazon eek a 🐁
    OP is smoking crack. Tech salaries have rocketed to insane levels in the past few years.
    Jan 5, 2018 7
    • Amazon eek a 🐁
      Tech salaries are in bubble territory
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Regardless of whether or not that is true, it is totally orthogonal.
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Amazon eek a 🐁
      Other than it would refute the thread title.
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Ermmmm no. Salaries can be inflated for some reasons and still suppressed by others. Can't see the forest through the trees.
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Amazon eek a 🐁
      Not a strong argument that h1b are lowering salaries when a) they are inflated anyway and b) lots of positions are going unfilled...
      Jan 6, 2018
  • Google / Eng
    googuy

    Google Eng

    PRE
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    googuymore
    Bro.. people need to stop getting 6 figures for writing for loops anyways
    Jan 5, 2018 2
    • Microsoft Facts
      Totally different issue but I'm with you on that
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Amazon / Eng
      Hooliganss

      Amazon Eng

      BIO
      Engineer at AWS
      Hooliganssmore
      Outsource the loop writing!
      Jan 5, 2018
  • Netflix Djdmdj
    What’s N ?
    Jan 5, 2018 7
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      You think Netflix would not be affected if ~20% of their tech employees were now free to switch jobs?

      If so, have your CEO publicly support this bill and make it happen. 20% of his tech employees will be much happier as a result. After all, you are confident that they won’t be more likely to quit as a result.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Netflix Djdmdj
      “You think Netflix would not be affected if ~20% of their tech employees were now free to switch jobs?”
      I believe so
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      Great, then get Reed on board. Your colleagues (his employees) will be very thankful.

      Additionally, Netflix will find it easier to hire people from other companies, who so far might be hesitant to move.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Netflix Djdmdj
      I’m still not convinced Netflix needs to be involved.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Oracle
      Macchiato

      Oracle

      PRE
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      Macchiatomore
      Interesting ddlj@netflix. Btw what are your thoughts on net neutrality. What convinced you about it?
      Jan 5, 2018
  • Apple Veet51
    If being on a work visa didn't affect your risk appetite (switch jobs), I admire you! You should also know that you're the exception, not the norm.

    For the majority of people on work visas, especially those with families, switching jobs is an added risk (however small).

    +Risk -> -Action

    Even assuming that all companies compensate their employees fairly every year, this negative stimulus for potential job switchers does have a corresponding negative impact on the overall wages.
    Jan 5, 2018 1
  • Facebook oshcjeiq
    > Apple
    > "Done is better than perfect"

    How things have changed. Tim Cook is going to bury that company.
    Jan 5, 2018 5
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      We’re talking about the political system here, not an Apple product.

      Certainly this tax reform is not perfect, but it is done and now Apple’s cash is drastically more free than it was before.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Intel HRC
      HR392 is a non starter. It will lead to backlog again. RAISE is what we need.
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      How will HR392 lead to backlogs again?
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      If anything, RAISE is a non-starter because they will not get 50 votes in the Senate, let alone 60. Not all republicans support RAISE. Do the math.
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Intel HRC
      Because Indians will hog all the visas causing backlog for ROW
      Jan 7, 2018
  • This comment was deleted by original commenter.

    • Apple Deported
      OP
      There are several restrictions, especially in the common case of being on H-1B and also waiting for a GC.

      - You have very limited time in between jobs. Everything has to be perfectly lined up for you to switch jobs.
      - You cannot quit your job when things go south, planning to take some time off then find another job.
      - If your employer fires you, you’re in deep trouble.

      All of this leads to people not changing jobs (or starting their own company) as much as they otherwise would. This leads to wage theft.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Google sdodhysghi
      These are good points. I should clarify that I think L1 is much more problematic, but gets only a fraction of attention that H1-B does.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      There are also far fewer people on L-1, so that may be why it gets less attention. Regardless, HR392 would absolutely help people who are currently on L-1 and waiting for their GC.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Microsoft cout<<
      First, all for something that helps folks.
      It’s hard to separate out the true difference in mobility.
      There are people without visa issues that feel trapped in their jobs because they don’t think they can just quit etc. whether the fear is more justified (alimony, family, debt, fear of rejection) everyone else isn’t automatically free to leave at any time. Since it sounds like the move is technically possible, wouldn’t managers still assume anyone great would leave on visa or not?
      To clarify I’m not saying it’s not harder to move, but a manager doesn’t usually know what might keep someone from going (if they want) and can they really assume a barrier (but not blocker) would keep someone?
      Jan 5, 2018
  • Google / Eng
    googuy

    Google Eng

    PRE
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    googuymore
    I was grossly underpaid on h1. However I don't really think faang companies will pay more if the bill passes. They already overpay by a lot and it is impossible for faang employees to find jobs outside these companies. I do think the bill should pass because per country fixed quotas is dumb as fuck. That being said this whole wage suppression theory is bullshit that the bill advocates use to convince us citizens to support them because by themselves they can't get shit through legislation with not being citizens. Basically selling hopes to Americans to get them to pass the bill that will benefit the immigrants.
    Jan 5, 2018 8
    • AT&T / Ops
      DDM2K

      AT&T Ops

      PRE
      Windstream
      DDM2Kmore
      No wonder family businesses are hesitant to grow past a certain size!
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      Seeing as they are all very profitable, you have an uphill climb convincing any reasonable person that they can’t pay more for talent.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      googuy

      Google Eng

      PRE
      Amazon
      googuymore
      I didn't say can't. I said they over pay for the work done. Software engineers have very cushy lives and most software products don't require much thought to build and maintain. There is a wide disparity between what a fb engineer makes and what a farmer makes and the farmers job is harder and more useful to society.
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      Harder? I’m not so sure. I mean, I could probably do farm work with far less training than a farmer might need to write software. In terms of hours spent working, I regularly work 10+ hours a day.

      More useful? Depends what they’re growing, but nearly all of Western society uses smartphones and search engines (including farmers), while I may not necessarily buy strawberries and almonds.

      Also, pay is not based on labor. A retail person at a typical clothing store earns less TC than a retail person at an Apple store - even though it’s a very similar job for the most part.

      If pay was based on labor, then we’d have cab drivers earning the same as limo drivers, chefs earning the same as a food truck vendor, and you earning the same as the dude at Google whose job is keeping the printers working.
      Jan 6, 2018
    • Google / Eng
      googuy

      Google Eng

      PRE
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      googuymore
      Tbh I don't add much more to society than the dude keeping the printers running. Also I'm just using hyperbole to claim that your theory about mass wage suppression due to h1b rigidity is not something I'm buying. I agree that country quotas should go in the spirit of fairness but it is not going to do anything to faang wages, now or over a long period of time. Wage increase for citizens is the imaginary carrot that h1b holders are dangling to US citizens to get their agenda through.
      Jan 6, 2018
  • AT&T / Ops
    DDM2K

    AT&T Ops

    PRE
    Windstream
    DDM2Kmore
    Okay, you have actual H1B’s saying the restrictions aren’t as bad as you’re making them out to be, now what?

    I feel your frustration, but I have to correct a few things if we’re going to talk facts.

    Collusion is only illegal when it comes to price fixing commodities. This is called a cartel.

    Even strategic manipulation of your employees’ career progression, based off of saving money, predicted outcomes, or the likelihood of their departure is not wage theft. Denying someone an opportunity when your discretion controls the outcome isn’t a crime. It’s underhanded, yes. But current employment law makes it very difficult to pin someone on discrimination when it’s not vocalized or written explicitly.

    The reason this hasn’t already been resolved is there’s no middle ground in uniformly dealing with all cases like this one. You’re stuck with one of two options:

    1.) Err on the side of the employer where they are only held accountable for gross acts of discrimination where it is stated explicitly that one or more protected criteria were used as a basis of selection.

    2.) Err on the side of the candidate or employee where each claim is considered valid unless successfully disproven by the employer.

    If the law follows example 2, let’s say I have nine employees, and I have to fire my H1B for cause. Let’s say this employee is the only member of a protected group (pick one). The H1B shouldn’t be able to say I singled them out, because I stuck to the facts of the violation.

    I see a lot of false associations made this way, solely on the basis of “they fired me because I was the only black guy”. I said this in a different thread as well: being “protected” doesn’t mean you can’t get laid off, denied promotion, raise, or fired for fucking up.

    When a selection is made for hire or promotion, a company must only select the candidate for advancement. The company is NOT responsible for explaining to each of those remaining to their satisfaction. It would be a waste of time and resources.
    Jan 5, 2018 5
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      > “Okay, you have actual H1B’s saying the restrictions aren’t as bad as you’re making them out to be, now what?”
      Selection bias, seeing as they’ve all been able to switch. Also, all of them agree that the restrictions are real, and have nonzero impact.

      You’ll have far less trouble firing someone on a visa if you know you wouldn’t also be deporting them and their family as a result. If anything, you’d be more free to get rid of people who aren’t performing to their paygrade.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      While I appreciate your thoughts, I don’t think you’ve fully read my post. First of all, this is about holding back everyone’s wage, not just wages of a specific group of people.

      Second - collusion can be illegal even if it does not involve price fixing. No-poaching agreements are also illegal, for example (ask the justice department about apple, google, adobe, and intel).

      Third:
      > “current employment law makes it very difficult to pin someone on discrimination when it’s not vocalized or written explicitly”

      Not true. See the wiki page for “disparate impact”.

      In any case, something being legal does not make it right. The companies (MS, FB) are lobbying to keep things as they are - clearly they wouldn’t be doing so if it wasn’t to their benefit.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • AT&T / Ops
      DDM2K

      AT&T Ops

      PRE
      Windstream
      DDM2Kmore
      > You’ll have far less trouble firing someone on a visa if you know you wouldn’t also be deporting them and their family as a result. If anything, you’d be more free to get rid of people who aren’t performing to their paygrade.

      I don’t think the presence of dependents has anything to do with whether or not you can fire an H1B. It might impede the deportation process, but it has zero to do with an employer’s right to terminate. If I’m firing low performers, I must do so without respect to someone’s marital status and would do so without respect to family size as well.

      I read the whole thing, but It sounds like you’ve made up your mind before you finished your post.

      I googled disparate impact, since I’ve never heard of it. Sounds like complete bullshit to me. This is why we have one person doing the work of two, working 80 hours a week to cover someone’s dead weight who was never qualified to begin with. Shame.

      I hope everyone reads this and sees how it qualifies people by race and gender over your ability to perform a job and serve the purpose for which a role was created.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      It’s fairly basic employment law. Maybe you shouldn’t wax lyrical about employment law if you haven’t ever heard of disparate impact.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • AT&T / Ops
      DDM2K

      AT&T Ops

      PRE
      Windstream
      DDM2Kmore
      Just did. Flexed those first amendment rights 🦅 🇺🇸
      Jan 5, 2018
  • KPMG users_824
    Wut if we don't work at faamng does it still affect us
    Jan 5, 2018 3
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      If your company hires people on visas at all, it will help all employees of your company.

      I believe KPMG does hire people on H-1B’s.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • KPMG users_824
      That's the first question we have to ask candidates. Ask them if they need sponsorship now or in the future
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      Yep, it would help you.
      Jan 5, 2018
  • Amazon
    BennyLava

    Amazon

    PRE
    Amazon
    BennyLavamore
    Typically the big tech companies pay reasonable for H1B instead of sweatshops them.

    It is usually the small companies and startup that abuse them.
    Jan 5, 2018 2
    • Apple Deported
      OP
      .... you didn’t even read the post.
      Jan 5, 2018
    • Amazon
      BennyLava

      Amazon

      PRE
      Amazon
      BennyLavamore
      The post was full of BS, according to H1B I knew personally.
      Jan 6, 2018
  • Airbnb airway
    Nobody is suppressing my wages... 🌲 fiddy baby!!
    Aug 1, 2018 0
  • EVERYBODY is replaceable ( ͡° ͜ʖ ͡°)
    Jan 6, 2018 0
  • Rackspace / Eng Racker2018
    ‘Murica!!!
    Jan 5, 2018 0

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