Two dozen Disney IT workers prepare to sue over foreign replacements

rucifee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
At least 23 former Disney IT workers have filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the loss of their jobs to foreign replacements. This federal filing is a first step to filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination.

- http://www.computerworld.com/articl...prepare-to-sue-over-foreign-replacements.html

Personally, I hope they rake Disney over the coals for this, what they did to their employees was disgraceful.
 

danlb_2000

Well-Known Member
At least 23 former Disney IT workers have filed complaints with the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) over the loss of their jobs to foreign replacements. This federal filing is a first step to filing a lawsuit alleging discrimination.

- http://www.computerworld.com/articl...prepare-to-sue-over-foreign-replacements.html

Personally, I hope they rake Disney over the coals for this, what they did to their employees was disgraceful.

http://forums.wdwmagic.com/threads/wdw-it-layoffs-1-30-2015.895408/
 

ABQ

Well-Known Member
The H1B program is intended to be used for situations where skilled employees can not be found onshore, it is not intended to be used to increase your bottom line by eliminating positions that already exist. It'll be interesting to watch this play out.
Did the Disney IT staff train replacements who were working domestically on H1-B's?
 

ABQ

Well-Known Member
Then in that case, it could be argued that Disney violated some labor codes, I'm not a lawyer, but recently read something similar about, I believe, SoCal Edison IT employees taking up a suit against SCE as labor codes surrounding the use of H1B visa holders require that the use of the H1B personnel not result in any change of wage or workplace condition to existing staff. It's gray, to say the least, not sure if the laid off SCE employees had any success in that suit though. If so, the Disney IT has some precedence. And I see that same wording in this NY Times article
 

Tom P.

Well-Known Member
The argument that they are making in that filing is not going to hold up. They are trying to twist this into a discrimination case. They are saying they were subject to "national origin discrimination." Which is bunk. Disney did not fire them because they were born in the United States. They fired them because they expected higher wages than their replacements. I can't imagine a court accepting the discrimination argument, unless they are feeling particularly activist that day.

The only possible legal ground that they could stand on here is that which @rucifee mentioned, namely that the H1B program is potentially being abused here, as it was never intended to supply cheap replacements to available American labor. Even so, though, it will be interesting to see if a court holds that these former employees have standing to sue on those grounds. I suspect their lawyers are telling them they don't have standing, which is why they're trying to go the discrimination claim route. A violation of H1B visa rules would be something for the federal government to enforce, not a matter for a private lawsuit.

Again, let me be clear that I think what Disney did is disgraceful. And I think the trend of companies in general to do it is disgraceful as well. And I think our government should get on the ball to stop this sort of thing. I just don't think the forum of a civil lawsuit is the place where this is going to be resolved successfully. Most likely, Disney will simply reach a confidential settlement with these folks and pay them to go away, and nothing will change.
 

rucifee

Well-Known Member
Original Poster
Disgraceful? Yes. Illegal? No. This is the ugly side of the business which unfortunately happens in the majority of large corporations across the world.

I'm not sure we can say it's not illegal yet, it hasn't been tried in court. It definitely violates the H1B rules which could cause Disney to become barred from participation in the H1B program.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/immigration/h1b.htm

I want to see it play out in court, Disney may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. We'll see. :)
 

TJ Vazquez

Premium Member
In the Parks
No
I'm not sure we can say it's not illegal yet, it hasn't been tried in court. It definitely violates the H1B rules which could cause Disney to become barred from participation in the H1B program.

http://www.dol.gov/whd/immigration/h1b.htm

I want to see it play out in court, Disney may have been the straw that broke the camel's back. We'll see. :)
Very True, but the reality is that Disney's legal team and resources will squash this fairly easily. I could however see a settlement occur.
 

raymusiccity

Well-Known Member
Disgraceful? Yes. Illegal? No. This is the ugly side of the business which unfortunately happens in the majority of large corporations across the world.

Agreed. The list of major corporations outsourcing their 'IT' departments, grows daily. They even send their people to India to help during the transition. That genie is long out of the bottle.
 

Tom P.

Well-Known Member
Agreed. The list of major corporations outsourcing their 'IT' departments, grows daily. They even send their people to India to help during the transition. That genie is long out of the bottle.
There is a difference between outsourcing your IT department to people who are physically located in India, and actually bringing people from other countries here on H1B visas to replace your American workers here in the United States. The former, while regrettable, is clearly not illegal. The latter, though, totally goes against the intent of the H1B visa program.

The H1B visa program was designed to allow companies to bring highly skilled, specialized people to the United States to fill positions that equally qualified Americans could not be found to fill. It was designed to fill "holes" in the labor market. It was never designed as a way of allowing companies to dump their American employees and import cheaper replacements. What Disney, and companies like them, are doing pretty clearly violates the rules of the H1B visa program. The question is whether or not anything can be done about it.

Our federal government, unfortunately, is on a "bring as many immigrants in, as many ways as possible" kick. Half the politicians see potential voters in these immigrants, the other half sees benefits to their big business donors. Neither side has any motivation to fix the problem. So I don't see the government actually enforcing the H1B visa rules anytime soon. And while a civil suit might bring attention to the issue, the most likely outcome is that Disney simply settles with them and it goes away. If it does go to court, as I said above, I'm not certain that the former employees have legal standing to challenge how H1B visas are being used, so I'm not sure if their suit would go anywhere.
 

Master Yoda

Pro Star Wars geek.
Premium Member
What loophole would that be?

You absolutely can blame an entity that willfully violates a law or rule knowing they are doing so. A "loophole" if one exists doesn't excuse bad behavior.
This is where you find the distinction between "ethics" and "business ethics"

Ethics is having what most would consider moral principals.

Business Ethics is "What can I do without being sued and/or arrested"
 
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