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Hiring firm's fees "completely unethical"



Firm's hiring fees "completely unethical"

In response to the April 26 Newsmaker, "In the eye of the H-1B visa storm":

After reading the comments by attorney Navneet S. Chugh from his interview with Rachel Konrad, I felt I needed to respond.

First off, I noticed a trend of Chugh redirecting to focus on questions that he didn't want to answer. Take, for example, the question of whether or not the $25,000 finders fee is unethical. How does smuggling people into the United States from Mexico have anything to do with this situation? He never answers whether or not charging the employee the $25,000 is ethical.

I'd also like to know why Chugh uses four days as an example when he tries to make his case for his client. From my understanding, Joshi was there much longer than four days before he decided to leave. Chugh is hoping to paint a picture of Joshi leaving right after he arrived here and generating sympathy for Compubahn.

Chugh also compares this work contract that includes the $25,000 finders fee to signing a contract for financing a car. How is this even close to being a good analogy? Was the contract even explained before he came to the U.S? What happens to him if he refuses to sign the contract now that he's in the U.S?

Chugh states that Joshi could have also said, "Oracle is my dream employer and someday I want to work there, so don't place me there." I had to laugh when I read that statement. How many of us would consider saying that to our boss if they wanted to place us at a large company like that? We'd most likely be fired if we said something like that.

I can see why these firms exist, though. Imagine being able to charge over $100 an hour and only pay the person you hired about $25 to $30 an hour. You've got a revenue stream of $200,000-plus a year, and your only costs are $60,000 plus the expenses of bringing the person over here, which really isn't that much in comparison. I'd love this business model for myself if I could stomach operating that way.

The most unusual aspect of this case, however, is the fact that Compubahn tries to collect a finders fee for employment from the employee. I have worked with a number of contracting and recruitment firms, and I have never heard of one charging me a fee for placement. This is always paid by the employer and should be written into the agreement between Oracle and Compubahn when they placed Joshi so that Oracle would pay the fee if they hired Joshi.

I am not against recruitment or contract agencies that collect fees for placing employees (but from the employer, not the employee). These firms do provide a service, and I have worked for some in the past, but what I found outrageous is the manner in which this one and others like it try to conduct business. It's completely unethical in the manner in which they operate. Thankfully, it is now illegal that they operate in this manner.

I hope the appeals court upholds this judgment.

Mike Bosch
Walnut Creek, Calif.