Stack of golden George Washington dollar coins,. (c) 2007 Bill Koslosky, MD (CC BY 2.5)

A Look On Your Breakroom Wall Reveals Others’ Salaries

Forrest Christian Careers Leave a Comment

Here’s a quick tip that I learned a few years ago to help you figure out what people in your company are making. This only works for US sites with foreign national workers.

It seems that whenever an H-1B visa is renewed or changed, the company has to post this information or make it available. I discovered this while working with a high-level corporate technical group of a massive, international company. I was having a coffee in the breakroom and, bored, was perusing the bulletin board. There was always someone selling something interesting, especially since so many of these people made high salaries and were often moved across the world. It was there that I saw my first H-1B declaration. I mentioned it to one of the guys I talked with in the group, who promptly got bent because the foreigner (an Australian) was pulling down $40k more than he was for the same job.

It looks like some obscure government document — which it is since the US has some of most nightmarish and stupid immigration laws of the developed world — but don’t let this fool you. Take a long look through it and, abracadabra! a salary number.

Of course, you may also get the shock that some of my friends at another company got when they discovered that the H-1Bs had multiple degrees and were working for half their salary, doing the same level work. Probably good to know, though.

I’ll close by saying that I’m all for foreign nationals coming to work in America, especially high level ones. Companies like Microsoft are finally wising up to America’s horrid immigration laws and moving highly technical centers to Canada. Screwing the foreigner or non-resident is the only thing that Democrats and Republicans agree on, albeit showing it in different ways.

Image Credit: Presidential $1 coin program. (c) 2007 Bill Koslosky, MD (CC BY 2.5)

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