Silicon Valley has always had its fair share of Indians, but now there might just be too many for America’s liking.
Earlier this week, the US Department of Labor sued Oracle for wage violations and hiring bias, alleging that the company displayed “hiring discrimination against qualified White, Hispanic, and African-American applicants in favor of Asian applicants, particularly Asian Indians.”
The DOL says the discrimination stemmed from biased hiring strategies like “targeted recruitment, and referral bonuses that encouraged its heavily Asian workforce to recruit other Asians and its reputation for favoring Asians.”
While Oracle seems to have too many Asians, it still doesn’t seem to be paying them well – the same suit, ironically, said that the company systematically paid its white, male employees more than other workers. In the complaint, the department says Oracle paid white male employees at its Redwood Shores, California headquarters more than female and non-white workers with the same job titles, even when taking into account for experience and seniority.
Indians have done quite well for themselves at Silicon Valley – the valley boasts of several Indians in posts of influence. The CEOs of Google and Microsoft are Indians, and India also has the enviable position of having produced the most American unicorn startups founded by immigrants – 14 at last count. Indians also comprise a large number of the rank and file of Silicon Valley software engineers.
But the US is getting increasingly alarmed by high paying jobs going to immigrant workers. This had been one of the major planks of Donald Trump’s successful Presidential campaign. The H1 B visa, which allows skilled immigrants to live and work in the US, has also proved to be a bone of contention. As many as 72% of the H1 B visas issued in 2015 were issued to Indians. And with Trump elected President, and tech CEOs looking to toe his line, Indians might need to explore areas other than just Silicon Valley for gainful employment.