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Oracle The Courts Businesses Government The Almighty Buck United States Technology

Labor Department Sues Oracle For Paying White Men More (usatoday.com) 317

An anonymous reader quotes a report from USA Today: Oracle is being sued by the Labor Department for paying white men more than their counterparts and for favoring Asian workers when recruiting and hiring for technical roles. The administrative lawsuit is the latest from the Labor Department to take aim at the human resources practices of major technology companies. The Labor Department warned the lawsuit could cost Oracle hundreds of millions in federal contracts. Oracle makes software and hardware used by the federal government. "The complaint is politically motivated, based on false allegations, and wholly without merit," Oracle spokesman Deborah Hellinger said in a statement. "Oracle values diversity and inclusion, and is a responsible equal opportunity and affirmative action employer. Our hiring and pay decisions are non-discriminatory and made based on legitimate business factors including experience and merit." The lawsuit is the result of an Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs review of Oracle's equal employment opportunity practices, the Labor Department said. According to the lawsuit, Oracle America paid white male workers more, leading to pay discrimination against women, African American and Asian employees. The Labor Department also accused Oracle of favoring Asians for product development and other technical roles, resulting in discrimination against non-Asian applicants. Oracle refused to comply with the Labor Department's investigation, which began in 2014, such as refusing to provide compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines and employee complaints of discrimination, according to the federal agency.
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Labor Department Sues Oracle For Paying White Men More

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  • by Kartu ( 1490911 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @06:04PM (#53692023)

    Against Asians, but at the same time, on different aspect, against everyone else in favor of Asians.
    That's quite discriminatory indeed, albeit, not quite logical.

    • Re: (Score:2, Flamebait)

      This is what happens when you base your definition of 'discrimination' on statistics rather then any real facts.
      It helps if you use a definition of 'discrimination' that includes 'sub conscious wholly unintentional acts' as discrimination.
      Basically if you don't meet the labor departments hiring quota's you can expect to get in trouble regardless of the reality on the ground of who is actually qualified and interested in working for you.

      Has someone actually claimed they were discriminated against?

      • We don't know because that is one of the things in the last sentence of the post that they refused to release...

        Oracle refused to comply with the Labor Department's investigation, which began in 2014, such as refusing to provide compensation data for all employees, complete hiring data for certain business lines and employee complaints of discrimination, according to the federal agency.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      It seems they want to hire more Asians, BUT pay them less, for whatever reason or perception.

    • by gurps_npc ( 621217 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @06:23PM (#53692195) Homepage

      It is true that the article is written poorly, but Oracle is in fact discriminating against everybody. This is true of many companies.

      The way it works is simple:
      The managers are racist. They pay X group more - usually white men.

      But the company does not WANT to pay a lot of money. So the Hiring managers are told to actively find people that are not white men. Then they offer these hiring less money.

      To work like this it requires a wide spread racism among hiring companies combined with a slightly desperate population.

      Honestly, if they stop there, it's not that bad. They sift off the cream of desperate people, helping them out. Theoretically the company would end up dominated by the disadvantaged group.

      But it doesn't stop. What happens next is the real problem, internal discrimination.:

      When it comes time to promote people, they only promote the X group (white men). After all. those were the people getting paid the most and who, because of internal discrimination, were given both the best opportunities and the most credit.

      So you end up with a racist company paying X group more, while proudly proclaiming how many minorities they hire - even while they underpay them.

    • by ghoul ( 157158 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @08:03PM (#53692785)

      Asians is code word for Indians. The key thing about Indians is the Indians coming to the US are coming from the top levels of Indian society. They are not used to being the underdog. Rather they are used to being the boss so they rise fast in a meritocracy as they do not have any hangups like US born minorities holding them back. Indians are also pretty racist. India itself has multiple ethnic groups and people favour their own ethnic group. When Indians get into hiring manager positions they hire Indians only as far as possible that too from their own ethnic group. They will hire a white if they cant get a sutable Indian. They will hardly ever hire a black or latino due to the Indian fetish for fair skin they thinks whites are smarter. However Indians dont discriminate between men and women when hiring. If Oracle is having mostly Asian aka Indian hires it means that Indians have reached middle management in Oracle and controlling the hiring. At the same time the old school whites still left are probably the critical folks or those who know where the skeletons are buried so they are paid far higher than the norm (In fact this whole case is probably because one of these folks felt they were not getting enough to keep shut about the skeletons)

      • by TheGratefulNet ( 143330 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @10:45PM (#53693651)

        I worked at sun for about 5 years and was let go when oracle bought sun.

        I worked at the menlo park main campus. I am older than 50 and I'm white. during my 5 years there, I got good reviews and was the main guy for one of the products (software) that ships on sun servers.

        all you have to do is walk around the outside of any major silicon valley campus and you'll see the same thing over and over. yes, its mostly indian and we all know this, even though the media does not want to outright say it.

        and I'm 90% certain that I was let go because all the rest of my group was indian and I was making a good salary there.

        it happens to me at almost every place I'm at, these days. the inevitable firing when the numbers from the company go downward and they need a quick 'profit boost' by letting go of the senior and well-paid engineers. this rarely happens to the indians, though.

        • by ghoul ( 157158 )

          High risk high reward. Who would you rather be? Underpaid but safe as firing you makes the average salary go up or overpaid but have a target on your back. I prefer overpaid. I can always get a new job and as most HR managers have no idea of how to offer comp they look at last salary and base the offer off it

        • I worked at sun for about 5 years and was let go when oracle bought sun.

          I worked at the menlo park main campus. I am older than 50 and I'm white. during my 5 years there, I got good reviews and was the main guy for one of the products (software) that ships on sun servers.

          all you have to do is walk around the outside of any major silicon valley campus and you'll see the same thing over and over. yes, its mostly indian and we all know this, even though the media does not want to outright say it.

          and I'm 90% certain that I was let go because all the rest of my group was indian and I was making a good salary there.

          it happens to me at almost every place I'm at, these days. the inevitable firing when the numbers from the company go downward and they need a quick 'profit boost' by letting go of the senior and well-paid engineers. this rarely happens to the indians, though.

          Speaking of the large Indian population - when did KSJO become a Bollywood station???

    • It's the famous and highly complex two-way discrimination.

      It's so uncommon because it requires that you focus your discrimination across the board.

  • This is a load of claptrap. You don't hire to fill quotas unless you're government. You hire the best candidate to do a job.

    You pay what the market is willing to bear and what that employee negotiates.

    If an employee doesn't ask for raises outside of normal performance increases, thats on the employee.

    also, First Post

    • This is a load of claptrap. You don't hire to fill quotas unless you're government. You hire the best candidate to do a job.

      You pay what the market is willing to bear and what that employee negotiates.

      Unless you don't...

      • Well, if the employee doesn't like what they are offered, or think they can get more elsewhere, damn, they can either negotiate or go elsewhere. Nothing *forcing* them to stay.

    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Tablizer ( 95088 )

      claptrap. You don't hire to fill quotas ... You hire the best candidate to do a job.

      I've been in the work-world long enough to know that social factors play a large role in actual hiring decisions/preferences. Humans are social animals and tribal by nature/habit.

      We like to THINK we are objective, but in practice we are not. We unconsciously prefer people who think like and have a background similar to ourselves. We don't want mental-world-view-mismatches that take us out of our comfort zone.

      Once I inadverte

    • You don't hire to fill quotas unless you're government. You hire the best candidate to do a job.

      Tell that to Intel Corp. and their "diversity initiative". Managers were essentially* barred from hiring men unless from a distinct minority (black, hispanic, american indian).

      *I don't believe there is written directive to this end, but more than one manager told me directly that this was the case and that it was not uncertain that their own performance reviews depended on their "diversity".

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tlhIngan ( 30335 )

      This is a load of claptrap. You don't hire to fill quotas unless you're government. You hire the best candidate to do a job.

      You pay what the market is willing to bear and what that employee negotiates.

      If an employee doesn't ask for raises outside of normal performance increases, thats on the employee.

      And that's where the government takes issue. Workers of equal skill should get paid roughly the same wages. It's why the government has such arcane employment ranks - your current rank is based on your skill, a

  • I'm half white, and half Japanese. Does that mean I'll get the job AND get paid more? If so, sign me up! I even live in the East Bay, so I'm local!
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Mashiki ( 184564 )

      No, it means you're Shrodinger's Minority just like I am. In every day ending in "y" you pick up the magical hate dice and wait to find out if you're an oppressed minority, or a majority that needs to be discriminated against.

    • I'm half white, and half Japanese. Does that mean I'll get the job AND get paid more?

      No, it means you'll get paid more, but spend the difference on anime pillows and Pocky.

      • > No, it means you'll get paid more, but spend the difference on anime pillows and Pocky.

        I hope that was intended as a joke, but that stereotype was pretty crass.

  • Don't worry Oracle. You only have to weather this storm until Monday.
  • Bogus priorities (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mi ( 197448 ) <slashdot-2016q1@virtual-estates.net> on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @06:13PM (#53692111) Homepage Journal

    Oracle values diversity and inclusion

    That's bullshit. It ought to value their software's reliability and performance instead. Nothing else.

    If that means, hiring more (or less) Asians/Blacks/Whites/Purples — so be it.

    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      A bit Machiavellian, isn't it? Anything is fine as long as the software turns out good.

      In any case, the law is pretty clear that there are other considerations.

      • by mi ( 197448 )

        the law is pretty clear that there are other considerations.

        Citation needed.

        Please, cite the law, that requires companies to hire based on any sorts of quotas.

        • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

          There are no quotas, that's just crazy talk. I've told you many times that there are no quotas, and they are not desirable. Try to keep up.

          I was referring to anti-discrimination laws. Yes, it might cost you a little more to employ someone who needs some aids to do their job, but you can't use that as a reason to favour another candidate. It might affect your software if you employ a woman of child baring age and she decided to have one, but you can't use that as a reason to favour another candidate.

          How do y

          • by mi ( 197448 )

            I was referring to anti-discrimination laws.

            I ask you once again for a citation... Which law is it, which specifically makes it illegal for White men to be paid more?

            Anti-discrimination laws make it illegal for race to be a consideration, when making hiring or compensation decisions. As long as you don't do that, your Whites may still end up paid better. Yes, some Social Justice busy-bodies would take such statistics and claim them to be evidence of racism. They do make a lot of noise, and the current boss

    • Asians/Blacks/Whites/Purples

      That's racist!!! [slate.com]

    • That's bullshit. It ought to value their software's reliability and performance instead. Nothing else.

      Oracle values their bottom line and their shareholders, nothing more nothing less. Often being a good corporate citizen is part of this priority. You can't shit on everyone endlessly and get endless growth as a result of that. Not in the west anyway.

  • by mmell ( 832646 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @06:21PM (#53692163)
    Also - are they comparing current wages or starting wages? It's an unfortunate truth that many organizations have more Caucasian Males making more because they were hired back when companies could (and were even expected to) hire white men. This also accounts for (some of) the disparity in management roles.

    I'm sorry, but changing (or choosing to enforce) the current rules does not magically level the playing field. If it did, minorities would long ago have stopped complaining that the system is rigged against them. Then again, the situation I've just described does leave itself open to manipulation by the "good ol' boy's club".

    I'd be more interested in knowing if job tenure was considered in analyzing the pay differential that the DOL alleges they've discovered.

  • by superwiz ( 655733 ) on Wednesday January 18, 2017 @06:32PM (#53692259) Journal
    If they filed before the election instead of the day before inauguration of a President from the opposing party. Once again, if Trump drops the suit, he is racist. If Trump wins the suit, it's Trump persecuting the tech sector while Obama protected minority rights. Who are these jokers kidding?
    • by AmiMoJo ( 196126 )

      It says right in the summary that the investigation has been going on for years already. And the timing makes little difference here, and if Trump gets involved it would be a scandal for many reasons unrelated to race.

      • It says right in the summary that the investigation has been going on for years already. And the timing makes little difference here, and if Trump gets involved it would be a scandal for many reasons unrelated to race.

        Well, by all means, then they must be appalled (appalled!) that there is gambling... I mean DISCRIMINATION going on there. Clearly, they had enough evidence create a sham, but not enough to charge, and they had it a while ago and just decided to deploy it at the very moment when it would be most politically damaging to the incoming administration.

  • Can we get some attention on Shesha Lounge, a local hookah bar here in Wichita which forces its staff to clock out before they begin closing/cleaning the store and then requires them to stay for a mandatory and unpaid staff meeting that sometimes goes on for hours? In general, I've seen that illegal labor practices abound in the service industry, it's almost expected.

  • That's about 90% of the folks I see in tech roles these days, so it'd be interesting if this changed anything. And it's not that they're paying whites more, they're paying everybody else _less_. It's subtle, but believe me, there's a difference.
  • Why did you eat honey that was made by B's? B is inferior, next time get honey from a hive of A's.

  • When a similar case was brought against google a while ago, a bunch of people here defended the company and their refusal to hand over compensation data - so let's hear it, will you defend the prime evil of tech as well ? Will you felate Ellison like you slobbered on Schmidt ? Or is refusing to cooperate into an investigation of your own compliance with the law only heroic when google does it ?

  • A big case right before the administration changes?
  • in this case I am. These sorts of "show us your labor stats" demands are nothing more than shakedowns from the PC crowd. We already have plenty of reverse discrimination laws in place - none of which give any weight to merit when it comes to job placement decisions. These laws are purely based on quotas but the backers of these laws will never use the term "quota".

    In many cases, a woman or a minority IS the best candidate for the job. But that suitability should be based SOLELY on merit.

    If a woman shows up

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